Rachel Roberts

BSc (Hons) MCH FSHom FFHom (Hon)

Bio:

Chief Executive of the Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) – www.HRI-research.org

Rachel has a first-class degree in Biological Sciences (Physiology) from the University of Birmingham. She graduated from the College of Homeopathy, London in 1997 and practised privately as a homeopath until 2012. Rachel has lectured in homeopathy and medical sciences at various colleges in the UK and overseas. Her materia medica flashcards (the ‘Mat Med Cards’) were described as a ‘great contribution to homeopathy’. Rachel’s move from practice and teaching to the field of research began with the post of Research Consultant for the Society of Homeopaths from 2008-2012. Rachel joined HRI in 2010 and now works for the Institute full time. In 2013 Rachel was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Society to acknowledge her outstanding contribution to homeopathy.  In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Faculty of Homeopathy for her highly regarded work in the field of homeopathic research.

Topic:

Clinical Research on Homeopathy – the Real Story Behind the Headlines

The scientific debate around homeopathy has been raging for decades but has never been more intense than it is right now.

Damning headlines in the mainstream media of several countries repeat a single, powerful message: research has repeatedly shown homeopathy doesn’t work and is nothing more than a placebo effect.

Such false statements most commonly cite a single document – the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Homeopathy Review, published in March 2015.

This Overview Report, often referred to as ‘the Australian Report’, used an unprecedented and scientifically unjustifiable method which led to highly inaccurate findings. Their final conclusion that there is “no reliable evidence” homeopathy is effective for any medical condition is damaging the reputation of homeopathy and influencing decision-makers around the world.

In August 2016, a complaint was filed with the Commonwealth Ombudsman, challenging NHMRC’s conduct and demanding retraction of the Homeopathy Review. This was the first step in an ongoing campaign – a collaboration between the Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) and Australian Homeopathic Association – to ensure that NHMRC answers charges of procedural breaches, conflict of interest, bias and scientific misconduct.

In this presentation we will explore: the key scientific faults with the Australian Report; what clinical evidence really exists for the effectiveness of homeopathy; and how/why the same evidence base can be perceived and portrayed so differently by those on opposite sides of the debate.