UCL Division of Medicine


A critical look at 'alternative medicine' with world expert Edzard Ernst

05 December 2023, 10:00 am–11:00 am

Professor  Edzard Ernst

Tuesday 5th December 2023, Lecture Theatre 1, Royal Free Hospital, Rowland Hill St, London NW3 2AG

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students






Professor Jennifer Rohn

A critical look at 'alternative medicine'
with world expert Professor Edzard Ernst
Tuesday 5th December 2023

Host: Professor Jenny Rohn

Lecture Theatre 1
Royal Free Hospital
Rowland Hill St, London NW3 2AG

Festive Lecture: “Alternative Medicine: Nine Lessons and No Carols”

Prof Edzard Ernst is an internationally recognised expert on the evidence base (or lack therof!) for alternative/complementary medicine. His talk, aiming to both entertain and inform, will stimulate critical thinking about the subject by addressing nine issues that are at the heart of some of the controversies around alternative medicine. This event has been organized by Prof Jenny Rohn for our Year 3 Undergraduates, but all staff and students in the Faculty are warmly invited to attend. Spaces are limited, however, so book soon.

The lecture will take place with both the speaker and audience in person in Lecture Theatre 1 at the Royal Free, Tuesday 5 December from 10-11 AM. There will be no livestream/hybrid arrangements, but a recording will be available afterwards.

About the speaker:

Prof Ernst (MD, PhD, MEA, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd) was born in 1948. He went to school in Germany and the US and studied psychology and medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. In 1977, he qualified as a physician in Munich where he also completed his MD and PhD theses. He was Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) at Hannover Medical School (Germany) and Head of the PMR Department at the University of Vienna (Austria). He came to the University of Exeter in 1993 to establish the world’s first Chair in complementary medicine. In 1999, he took British nationality and in 2022 he re-gained German nationality. Since 2012, he is Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter and now lives in Cambridge, UK as well as in Brittany, France.

Prof Ernst is founder/Editor-in-Chief of three medical journals (‘Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies’, ‘European Journal of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation’ and ‘Perfusion’). He has been a columnist for many publications (BMJ, GP, MMW, PJ, The Guardian, The Independent, The Spectator, Publikum, Skeptic Magazine, etc.). His work has been awarded 17 scientific awards (most recent: John Maddox Prize 2015 and Ockham Award 2017) and two Visiting Professorships (Canada and USA). He served on the ‘Medicines Commission’ of the British ‘Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency’ (1994 – 2005).

According to Ioannidis et al Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators, he is currently ranked No 1 amongst all researchers in the category of ‘Complementary & Alternative Medicine’,

He has published >1000 papers (current H-Index=142), >50 books, translated into over a dozen languages, >100 book chapters, and publishes a blog (edzardernst.com). He has given > 700 invited lectures worldwide and supervised >50 MD and Ph.D. theses. He has also served as an expert witness in numerous legal disputes. During the last 25 years, Prof Ernst’s research focused on the critical evaluation of most aspects of so-called alternative medicine. He has no conflicts of interest.