In memoriam

In which Dr Aust gets a bit poetic

Today the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH) announced that it was to close its doors.

(There is some suggestion that if you look at the logo for long enough the feathers will start to droop.)

The announcement follows recent revelations about the FIH’s finances, sources of income for at least one of their more notorious projects, and the police investigation into allegations of serious fraud at the charity, including the arrest of at least one ex-staffer.

Though the announcement states that the closure of the charity was “already planned”,  it acknowledges that it has been brought forward by the ongoing police investigation.

The story has already attracted coverage in the media – both mainstream and scientific/medical – and on the blogs.  Some links are at the end.

However, as yet, no-one has penned a valedictory poem.

Though I suppose it is possible Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy will rise to the challenge in due course, in the meantime I thought I would have a go.

So, with apologies to E.J. Thribb, I give you:



In Memoriam
Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Integrated Health

So. Farewell
Then. The
Prince of Wales’ Foundation
for Integrated Health

As it so
Happens a
Much disputed term

“Integrated Health”
You said.
“Quack nonsense” said
The scientists.

“Achieve optimal health
and wellbeing”
You said.
“If you buy this Duchy dodgy
Herbal potion
They mocked.

But of course now
That all the
Money has disappeared
It might
Appear rather


I have also been trying to come up with a suitable epitaph for the FIH

So far my favourite is:

Requiescat in ridiculo

or perhaps:

Requiescat in ridiculo (a)eterno

Which latter version would have the neat acronym – at least for anyone who has ever studied French at school – RIRE.


More coverage:

From Pulse (with quotes from FIH’s Dr Micharl Dixon and Edzard Ernst)
From Nature (with comment from Edzard Ernst)
From David Colquhoun’s blog (with updates promised)
Google collection of news stories


14 Responses to “In memoriam”

  1. Jo Brodie Says:

    Haha very good!

    Here’s my appropriately mocking limerick

    There once was a princely foundation
    deserving of skeptics’ damnation
    while propping up woo
    it lost money too
    – there are few that will mourn its cessation ;-)

    Epitaph: argumentum ad ignorantiam

    Come to think of it Resqui-thingy in ignorantiam (ignorantio?) would work quite nicely, as a sort of ‘remain in ignorance’ phrase.

  2. Tweets that mention In memoriam « Dr Aust’s Spleen -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen Curry, Alan Henness, Dr Aust, Dr Aust, David Briggs and others. David Briggs said: Ashes to Ashes, Flunk to Flunky. RT @Dr_Aust_PhD: In memoriam: […]

  3. draust Says:

    Welcome, Jo.

    I like the limerick. And the epitaph. From my admittedly rather rusty Latin, it would be:

    Requiescat in ignorantia

    Ignorantia (rather than ignorantiam) because it is “in” (position) which takes the ablative case (ending in a long -a) when implying position not motion (and resting is definitely not moving!) . “Ad” is a preposition usually denoting “movement” (to, toward) and therefore takes the accusative case (-am). So “ad ignorantiam” but “in ignorantia” . Somewhat confusingly, “in memoriam” literally translates as “into the memory of”, hence the -am.

    More fascinating Latin grammar boredom here.

    I suppose I’m probably from one of the last generations to have been forced to do Latin O-level back in the mists of time. Oddly, it proved quite useful when learning Spanish in evening classes about ten years ago – not so much because the words are similar, but more because having learnt Latin means one learnt about the grammar underlying languages.

  4. Cybertiger Says:

    The notion of Herr Professor Sir Drippy Draust, Scientist to the Stars, now seems a tad tenuous.

  5. The end of the Prince’s Foundation for Magic Medicine Says:

    […] Dr Aust’s Spleen 30 April In memoriam. In which Dr Aust gets a bit poetic […]

  6. draust Says:

    Don’t get the last comment at all, Shabby. I will be a Professor approximately when Hell Freezes Over – that is my estimate, and that of my scientific friends, not to mention the bosses. And I’ve never suggested anything else… so what’s your point?

  7. Cybertiger Says:

    So, you’re a shabby scientist, eh, Drippy? Who’d have guessed?

  8. Dr Aust Says:

    * bemused expression *

    * yawn *

    See the blog’s opening statement for info on Dr Austs’s scientific “unremarkability”.

  9. Diego Fox Says:

    Interesting to see criticisms about about your science from somebody who I would guess believes in fairies and magic beans.

  10. draust Says:

    Hi Diego

    I’m never quite sure what ShabbyTabby believes. He really is a GP, of course, so in some ways it is a surprise just how enthusiastic he seems to be about Magic Beans. Though he is not the only one, see e.g. Dr Michael Dixon, or Dr Sarah Myhill, or Prof George Lewith, or even Prof Karol Sikora.

    A lot of these people seem to object to either the idea that science actually has useful things to say about medicine, or that clinical trial evidence rather than personal experience and belief should be a starting point for thinking about decisions.

    I see from your nascent blog that you’re reading Cronin’s The Citadel. Is that the one where he describes working in Harley St in the 30s, and delivering placebo therapies (including dramatic ones, like saline injections in the backside) to upper middle class patients with vague complaints like “neurasthenia”?

    Plus ca change, and all that.

  11. Diego Fox Says:

    Yes it is, but it also describes providing desperately needed healthcare to the deprived in the Welsh valleys. In the end the hero comes back from Harley Street to proper medicine.

  12. draust Says:

    Thanks. Mainly asked because I remembered seeing an extract from the Harley St bit in Michael O’Donnell’s Medicine’s Strangest Cases, but have never actually read the Cronin book. Must try and get hold of a copy.

  13. Mike from Ottawa Says:

    Jo Brodie,

    That limerick is marvelous.

    I can’t help, though, but suggest that “that will mourn” in the last line be changed to “who will rue” which I think scans a bit better.

    But it is wonderful as it is. I intend to commit it to memory.


  14. Poetry corner – subluxation special « Dr Aust’s Spleen Says:

    […] the meantime, and following the acclaim for our resident bard’s  recent Memorial Poem on the demise of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, he has been persuaded to pen […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: