Kate Thomas, Hon Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield, has been a highly valued member of our Scientific Advisory Committee since 2010. HRI has benefited greatly from her expertise in clinical research, particularly her background in evaluation of complementary therapies for use in the NHS. Kate has been a strong academic asset for the Institute, as well as a pleasure to work with, whether peer reviewing protocols and conference abstracts or helping to represent HRI on key occasions. In Kate’s memorable speech at the House of Commons reception in May 2011, shortly after the release of a critical report on homeopathy by the Science and Technology Committee, she outlined five key reasons why she believes we need homeopathy research, including this succinct comment:

“The Science and Technology Committee sought to dismiss homeopathy as ‘scientifically implausible’ but to me good science should be excited by anomalies, they’re often a sign that we’ve got something to learn and as Marilyn Robinson memorably said, “the most important statement in science is not ‘Eureka’ but ‘that’s curious'”. We need curiosity-driven, open minded, fundamental research into the mechanisms of homeopathic treatment and they are more likely to be about  physics  than medicine.”

Due to the pressures of work, Kate has now decided to step down from SAC and we would like to thank her for the significant contribution she has made to HRI during these interesting times.