James Randi, the famous American magician-cum-fraudbuster, has offered 10 million dollars to anyone who can prove the scientific validity of homeopathy. The stakes are quite alluring and the authors of the Horizon documentary have decided to take up his challenge. They have hired the best researchers in the Kingdom and put them to work diluting, shaking, measuring, testing and retesting, in the hope to come up with some shred of evidence to prove that – loh and behold! – homeopathy does work. So far there is not one iota of experimental evidence; Randi’s pocketbook is still intact and the mystery of homeopathy still remains a subject of debate. Yet despite all this, homeopathic remedies are more popular than ever and many swear to have directly experienced their beneficial effects. Based on the principle similia similibus curantur (like cures like) and on serial dilutions, homeopathy seems to defy Avogadro’s law: one gram of a substance dissolved in 100 ml of water is the first centesimal dilution; at the thirteenth, the concentration is what you would get by dissolving one drop into the Atlantic Ocean! An article by the French researcher J. Benveniste in a 1988 issue of Nature attempted to prove that water remembers what has been dissolved in it. Some have called his work a fraud… but was it?
Prix “Santé” a Image et Science 2003