Gold, mercury and leeches: Dr. Kang discusses quackery

Gold, mercury and leeches: Dr. Kang discusses quackery

Dr. Lydia Kang’s discussion of the research that went into her book “Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything” was perhaps not for those with delicate constitutions.

Dr. Kang took the audience on a historical journey through a few of the terrible ways humans have tried to cure what ailed them. Prior to the scientific method and peer-reviewed research, the cure could be–and often was–worse than the ailment. From bloodletting to corpse medicine, desperate people did very dumb things.

In her Q&A with Dr. Kang, Professor Maura Chhun tried to get past the “what,” and uncover the “why” behind quackery. Ignorance has played a part in quackery, certainly from the perspective of the consumer, but greed plays no small part in the motivation on the part of practitioners who peddle products they know to be fraudulent. Dr. Kang’s advice for today is to beware of exuberant claims and check the research.

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