I attended my first QED this past weekend in Manchester, England. Question, Explore, Discover is an annual science and skepticism conference, and this year’s QED was the largest in its six-year history. I had a great time and highly recommend that readers attend next year.
I gave a talk on the main stage titled The Right Detox: how to detox an entire belief system in five easy steps. I described how I fell into and then out of being a naturopathic “doctor.” (I hope to be able to link to a video of it in the future.)
Here are some reactions and live tweets from the audience:
— Paul Morgan (@drpaulmorgan) October 15, 2016
— András G. Pintér (@skepman) October 15, 2016
— Andreas Kyriacou (@andreaskyriacou) October 15, 2016
— Andy Lewis (@lecanardnoir) October 15, 2016
— Rhys Morgan (@rhysmorgan) October 15, 2016
Not sure I've seen a standing ovation at #QEDCon before.
Such a moving and inspiring talk from @NaturoDiaries.
*wipes away a little tear*
— Mike Smyth (@M1ke5myth) October 15, 2016
— Sarah Ryan (@Geekazoid) October 15, 2016
Thank you, everyone! It felt so great to have such positive feedback.
— The Skeptic Magazine (@TheSkepticMag) October 15, 2016
— Rob McTempest (@Your_FunnyUncle) October 15, 2016
— Prism Podcast (@PrismPodcast) October 15, 2016
Other Ockham winners were The Good Thinking Society for Best Campaign; Dr. Suzi Gage’s Say Why to Drugs for Best Podcast; and Crispian Jago, who was awarded the Editor’s Choice Ockham. Congratulations!
This was a day that I will never forget.
Writing about my time as a naturopathic doctor has brought difficult moments. I lost friends and gained enemies. I have been accused of defamation by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and its surrogates.
There were times when I wanted to quit. I had several existential crises. I argued with myself that slipping into obscurity may be a better choice, where I could forget my past life as a quack doctor.
My experience at QED reminded me why “Big Naturopathy” needs to be challenged. Patients deserve to know the dangers associated with getting medical care from under-trained practitioners steeped in pseudoscience. Lawmakers need to know that “ND” does not convey medical competency. Rather, it indicates that a person using that title is unequivocally “Not a Doctor.” Allowing naturopaths to become licensed and self-regulated endangers the public good.
I lost my former community after I came out as a whistle-blower, but I’ve gained an international support system of skeptics, scientists, physicians, and friends. I am standing on the shoulders of skeptical giants.
Thank you! And, an extra big thank you to the organizers of QED for putting together such a memorable weekend!