Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Parliamentary Select Committee Who Say... "Evidence"

Last night I spent several hours watching the The Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee on homeopathy.


Witnesses:

Professor Jayne Lawrence - Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Robert Wilson - British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers

Paul Bennett - Boots

Tracey Brown - Sense About Science

Dr Ben Goldacre - The Guardian

Dr Peter Fisher - Royal London Homeopathic Hospital

Professor Edzard Ernst - Complementary Medicine Group, Peninsula Medical School

Dr James Thallon - NHS West Kent

Dr Robert Mathie - British Homeopathic Association


As it took me a little while to get through it all, I thought I’d help you out by doing a quick summary via the medium of Python.



EVAN HARRIS:
Evidence! Evidence! Evidence! Evidence!

ROBERT WILSON: Who are you?

EVAN HARRIS: We are the Parliamentary Science and Technology select committee who say … Evidence

ROBERT WILSON: No! Not the Parliamentary Science and Technology select committee Who Say Evidence!

EVAN HARRIS: The same!

PAUL BENNETT: Who are they?

EVAN HARRIS: We are the scrutinisers of Government Policy: Evidence, Proof, and Efficacy!

GOLDACRE: Efficacy!

ROBERT WILSON: Those who see them seldom escape regulation!

EVAN HARRIS: The Parliamentary select committee who say Evidence demand evidence to support government policy!

PAUL BENNETT: Parliamentary select committee, we are but simple snake oil salesmen who seek the profit that can be made from the credulous.

EVAN HARRIS: Evidence! Evidence! Evidence! Evidence!

ROBERT WILSON and HOMEOPATHY SUPPORTERS: Oh, ow!

EVAN HARRIS: We shall say 'evidence' again to you if you do not appease us.

ROBERT WILSON: Well, what is it you want?

EVAN HARRIS: We want... unequivocal positive meta-analysis!

[dramatic chord]

ROBERT WILSON: for what?

EVAN HARRIS: Evidence! Evidence!

ROBERT WILSON and HOMEOPATHY SUPPORTERS: Oh, ow!

ROBERT WILSON: Please, please! No more! We have evidence for Arnica.

EVAN HARRIS: You must return here with positive meta-analysis to support that a homeopathic arnica remedy is effective beyond placebo in preventing bruising or we will not approve your homeopathic remedies on the NHS!

ROBERT WILSON: O Parliamentary select committee who say Evidence, you are just and fair, and we will return with evidence for an Arnica remedy.

EVAN HARRIS: One that looks nice.

ROBERT WILSON: Of course.

EVAN HARRIS: And not too expensive.

ROBERT WILSON: Yes.

EVAN HARRIS: Now... go!
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