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Did Rupert Sheldrake make a factual error?

An editor at TED seems to suggest that Rupert Sheldrake made a factual error in his talk "The Science Delusion" when he said governments "ignore complimentary and alternative therapies." She writes:

"Sheldrake says that governments do not fund research into complementary medicine. Here are the US figures on NIH investment in complementary and alternative medicine 2009-2010: http://nccam.nih.gov/about/budget/institute-center.htm "


At the NIH link we find that the NIH invested $441,819, 000 in complimentary and alternative medicine in 2011.

But the total NIH budget is about $31,000,000,000 or $31 billion.


This means the NIH invested about 1.425% of its budget in complimentary and alternative medicine in 2011.

To what extent have other governments funded research in complimentary and alternative medicine?


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  • Mar 15 2013: I see here, as other places,the politically naive are commenting. Here is a quote from Dr. Kimble C. Atwood IV on the NCCAM.
    "We believe that NCCAM [National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine] funds proposals of dubious merit; its research agenda is shaped more by politics than by science; and it is structured by its charter in a manner that precludes an independent review of its performance. In view of the popularity of alternative therapies, it is appropriate to evaluate the efficacy and safety of selected treatments."
    Many therapies supposedly being studied by the NCCAM have been around for a very long time with already many private studies showing efficacy and yet the NCCAM has never found one therapy that was effective.. Maybe they aren't really wanting to find anything worthwhile.
    I have Dr. Sheldrakes book and I could find no reason to censor his remarks. Let those who made complaint debate Dr. Sheldrake if you really are interested in "ideas worth spreading". At least replace the video.

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