Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century
William Alderson was one of the founders of H:MC21 in 2007 together with Michele Shine and Ursula Kraus-Harper.
Together the trustees wrote the material for the first very simple website, which included two pages outlining the facts about homeopathy and its relationship to orthodox medicine.
When H:MC21 was offered a second website (www.homeopathyworkedforme.org), the writing was again a joint effort, with the final version polished up by a supporter with PR experience.
The updating of the www.hmc21.org website was William's responsibility, and he has written new material for it and maintained it for most of the time. In particular he has made it clear that homeopathy adopted many major advances in medical ideas decades before orthodox medicine, including the importance of microbes, evolution, hygiene, good housing and diet, and the harmfulness of blood-letting.
William visited over half the homeopathic colleges in 2007/8 explaining to students and staff what H:MC21 was doing and why. In seven months he drove over 3,000 miles to speak at meetings and raise support.
William designed the logo, badges and banner for H:MC21. The banner first appeared when William and Ursula took it on the NHS Together demonstration in 2007. William also designed H:MC21's leaflets and the placards used at the lobby of Parliament in 2010.
In 2010 he shot and edited a video of the protest outside the British Medical Association conference called by the British Homeopathic Association, and supported by H:MC21.
The idea of the 'Homeopathy Worked for Me!' declaration was Michele Shine's, but the death of her husband meant that she was unable to join William, Ursula and other supporters in handing in the 28,741 signatures to the Prime Minister at No 10 Downing Street. Over 250 homeopaths and patients joined the lobby of Parliament on that day, 24 February 2010, and William had worked through the night to make sure that all the available signatures were included. When he got home again, he had completed a 42-hour day!
Perhaps the most outstanding contribution William has made to H:MC21's campaign has been his critiques of the attacks on homeopathy. His Halloween Science and Nonsense, Not Science both expose in detail how opponents of homeopathy have discarded scientific standards in order to deceive people into believing that there is no justification for homeopathy.
He wrote a detailed submission for the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and his subsequent analysis of selected evidence, his critique of their report, Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, and of the government's response all make it clear that this process was at best unreliable, and at worst deliberately biased.
His articles about the process, A Check Without Balance and the shorter Cutting On The Bias, both started to expose the unhealthy links between the pharmaceutical industry, the charity Sense About Science and the parliamentary Committee. His subsequent research has confirmed these links.
William also originated the idea of researching whether Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) check on the competence of their decision-makers to assess homeopathy. His report on the pilot study showed that there is good reason to believe that the public are being denied access to homeopathy on the NHS by people who are not qualified to make such a decision. This view appears to be confirmed by comparing the approach of PCTs with that of the Swiss government. Where 13 experts in Switzerland took six years to asses homeopathy and 4 other therapies, PCTs in England allow non-experts to make a decision on five times as many therapies in only two years.
Finally, William was the key figure in systematically challenging the views on homeopathy of the Advertising Standards Authority.
In presenting the Award for Outstanding Achievement Zofia Dymitr, Chairwoman of the Society of Homeopaths, said: “Over the last few years we have seen your dedication and ability to analyse, critique and comment for the profession. This award is an insignificant symbol of appreciation for all of the time you put into this work.”