Criticism Builds Over Nature Investigation AUTHOR:BERNARD DIXON
Date: September 05, 1988

There may be no solution that can’t be diluted, but this is one controversy that won’t die out;
Maddox vs. Benveniste LONDON--La'affaire Benveniste has been this summer’s, best soap opera—another thrilling episode in “As the World of Science Thins.” Who could have imagined that Jacques Benveniste, a scientist at a prestigious French government laboratory would claim to have proven the central—and dubious—tenet of homeopathy, in effect that water has memory? Or that Nature, one of the world’s most respected science journals, would publish the research, while editorializing that the results were “unbelievable”? Or that Nature editor John Maddox would then descend on Benveniste’s lab with “fraudbuster” Walter Stewart and professional magician James Randi, conduct a week’s worth of experiments, and denounce the original paper as a “delusion”?

Yet it did happen. And the bizarre events have left many...

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