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Two experts on alternative medicine will be guests of the 2000 Old Dominion University College of Sciences Distinguished Visitor Lecture Series, "Investigating Modern Pseudoscience," starting Thursday, Feb. 3.

Dr. Wallace Sampson, former chair of the board of directors of the National Council against Health Fraud, will visit the Old Dominion campus Feb. 3 and 4 for two sessions on alternative medicine.

Thursday, his talk, "Alternative Medicine: Factors and Forces Behind an Ideologically Correct Social Delusion," seeks to explain why people are interested in "aberrant medical practices" in the latter 20th century, a time of unprecedented technological progress.

Sampson will discuss homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic and herbalism during "Errors, Misinterpretations and Academic Legends: Alternativism and the Science Literature" on Friday, Feb. 4.

Robert L. Park, professor of physics at the University of Maryland and director of the Washington office of the American Physical Society, will discuss pseudoscience in modern medicine Feb. 10 and 11.

Feb. 10, Park examines medical treatments that millions have sworn by, but are now known to be harmful. Feb. 11, he'll look at ancient beliefs in demons and magic that are prevalent today, but are now revealed to be nothing more than pseudoscience.

The series, which runs through April, will explore current topics in pseudoscience and discuss the status of each from a scientific perspective. The series consists of seven distinguished speakers who will present scientific explanations for such topical issues as alternative medicine, Bible codes, UFOs and astrology. Speakers will also discuss why people find such topics so compelling.

Thursday presentations, at 8 p.m. in Room 102 of the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building, are aimed at general audiences. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Friday afternoon presentations, at 3 p.m. in the Oceanography and Physics Building, are intended for science-based
audiences. Refreshments are served at 2:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the series' Web site at: http://www.physics.odu.edu/htmlstuf/sue/cal-lec-99.htm. or call chairman Larry Weinstein at 683-3468.

This article was posted on: February 2, 2000

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