One of the world’s leading centres for alternative medicine research is facing closure for lack of money after a row with a senior aide to the Prince of Wales.
The influential unit at the University of Exeter headed by Edzard Ernst, Britain’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine, will shut next spring unless a new financial backer can be found, The Times has learnt.
Professor Ernst, whose work has been critical of the claims made for some alternative remedies such as homeopathy, blamed its uncertain future on a lack of support from his university since he clashed publicly with Prince Charles’s office five years ago.
In 2005, The Times disclosed that the scientist had attacked the Smallwood report advocating complementary medicine, commissioned by the Prince, as “outrageous and deeply flawed”. This prompted a formal complaint from Sir Michael Peat, the Prince’s private secretary, who accused Professor Ernst of discussing a document he had been shown in confidence.