The Right Treatment: Alt-Med, Anti-Science & Conservatism

  • Lucas Richert (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


“Alternatives” to the medical mainstream, including traditional Chinese medicine, faith-healing, and anti-vaccination beliefs, provide a window into debates over health, well-being, and personal choice in the marketplace. During the 1970s, California was a hotbed of health activism and medical entrepreneurship, a climate where contested medicines met various economic and political ideologies. Single-issue health movements underlined the importance of medical freedoms and consumer autonomy, and this talk will examine two examples: Laetrile, a controversial cancer treatment, and MDMA (ecstasy). We will interrogate competing visions of health and freedom in California as well as beyond. This matters because it helps to address who constituted the insiders and outsiders in the medical marketplace, as well as in society more broadly. The rise of the right in the US, in short, was in constant negotiation with health advocates, drug researchers, and pharmaceutical policymakers.
PeriodJan 2018
Held atGlasgow Skeptics, United Kingdom