FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE <<Back to announcement home page>>
Chris Duffield, PhD
Joseph Levy, PhD
Jacques Benveniste, MD, Laboratoire de Biologie Numérique
June 1, 1999
JACQUES BENVENISTE, CONTROVERSIAL FRENCH SCIENTIST, TO SPEAK AT STANFORD
by Chris Duffield, Ph.D. << jpg photo of Jacques Benveniste available by clicking here >>
Controversial French scientist Jacques Benveniste MD, recently featured in the May 17th issue of Time Magazine, will be in the Bay Area June 7-9. His visit will culminate in a seminar he will give at Stanford University on Monday, June 7. The talk, sponsored by the Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Program At Stanford (CAMPS), will start at 4:15 PM in the Munzer Auditorium of the Beckman Center. The title of the talk is "Digital Recording and Transfer of Biological Information." Believers and skeptics alike are invited, as well as scientists who are keeping an open mind. If it is anything like the seminar that he gave at Cambridge Universitys Cavendish Laboratory in March, the room is sure to be packed.
Details about the talk, including an abstract, Benvenistes resume, and directions to the auditorium, can be found on the worldwide web at http://www.iptq.com/benveniste/default.htm .
Benveniste is not one to stay quiet about his experimental findings, which he thinks could profoundly change the worlds of biology and medicine. He has been at the center of a cyclone of controversy since 1988, when he published a controversial article in the prestigious journal Nature. In that article he presented experimental evidence, verified at several other labs, that drugs in highly dilute water solutions can still have biological effects. The dilutions were made to the point that it was highly unlikely that even one molecule of the substance remained. In effect, his results appeared to demonstrate the existence of memory in water, thus supporting the validity of homeopathy, a 200-year-old health practice that is undergoing renewed popularity.
The article sparked instant outrage among traditional scientists, as it seemed to be claiming something that is impossible according to the prevailing scientific paradigm. Nature withdrew its support for the article, and a debunking team was sent to Benvenistes lab to discredit his work. In a 1998 book (The Memory of Water: Homeopathy and the Battle of Ideas in the New Science) Michel Schiff documents this whole debunking process, suggesting that it was done in a fashion totally unbecoming to the highest values of open-minded science. However, as a result of this and other attacks, Benveniste became a virtual pariah in many peoples view, and he lost his lab, his funding, and his prestigious position as Director of Research at INSERM, a major French laboratory.
On his website, the outspoken Benveniste asks: "Why the fuss, excommunication, resentment, insults, injuries and, last but not least, the crash landing of fraud-seeking commandos? Will the eternal "Understand I do not, therefore it is not" prevail forever in science? Can we not say once and for all "bye-bye" to Galileo-style prosecution and replace it with genuine scientific debate?"
Hes back. Somehow managing to keep his research going over the ensuing decade, Benveniste has new, even more startling results to report, as documented in recent scientific papers and on his website http://www.digibio.com His experimental results seem to show that not only does water seem to have memory of highly diluted substances, but that this "information" can be picked up electromagnetically from the water, and stored digitally on the hard drive of a personal computer with a standard sound card. The information can then be played back into new water, which then shows the same biological effects as the highly diluted original. He claims that this effect has been demonstrated for more than 30 biologically active substances. And to top it all, he has even sent the digital information over the Internet, to be played back into water at will on a different continent.
What next? Benveniste's current strategy is twofold. First, to seek independent verification of his results, and develop a better scientific understanding. And second, to find new industrial applications for these findings, patenting them, and taking them to market.
If this is for real, Benveniste points out, it could profoundly change biology and medicine. Imagine a doctor handing a patient a prescription on a floppy disk or smart card, to be played back into water at home or at a pharmacy. Imagine a previously unknown means for communication between cells and organisms. Perhaps Silicon Valleys venture capitalists and biotech companies will want to keep a close watch on Benvenistes "digital biology" research. An entrepreneur as well as a scientist, Benveniste has formed a company and is looking for investors and partners.
Dr. Jacques Benveniste will have a limited amount of time to talk with reporters
during his visit to the Bay Area.