Responses to the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration individual patient data meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Biomedical Research
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Dissent and Disputes


  • In September 2012 the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration published the results of an individual patient data meta-analysis of almost 18 000 patients in high quality randomised trials. The results favoured acupuncture. Although there was little argument about the findings in the scientific press, a controversy played out in blog posts and the lay press. This controversy was characterised by ad hominem remarks, anonymous criticism, phony expertise and the use of opinion to contradict data, predominantly by self-proclaimed sceptics. There was a near complete absence of substantive scientific critique. The lack of any reasoned debate about the main findings of the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration paper underlines the fact that mainstream science has moved on from the intellectual sterility and ad hominem attacks that characterise the sceptics' movement.

publication date

  • March 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3658608

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/acupmed-2013-010312

PubMed ID

  • 23449559

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 98

end page

  • 100


  • 31


  • 1