Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

A Scientist in Wonderland

By Loretta Marron

A review of Edzard Ernst's autobiography.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Edzard Ernst is the world expert in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but this accolade did not come easily, neither personally nor professionally. Passion emerges from his book, "A Scientist in Wonderland: a memoir of looking for truth and finding trouble" – in his love for his wife, friends and family, music, living a full life, and dedication to the pursuit of scientific inquiry.

This is juxtaposed with his hatred for the Nazis and shame for the past of his own people.
Moving through the stages of his life, we see a shy, introverted, insecure and rebellious youth, overcoming enormous difficulties as he navigates his way to become a determined, dedicated and highly accomplished university academic and scientist. Along the way, while writing numerous scientific papers, he exposes corruption and the exploitation of human frailties.

Born in post-war Germany into a family of generations of physicians, and despite enjoying life as a musician, he eventually surrenders himself to this profession, which would eventually define, stretch, challenge and intellectually nourish him.

He describes the impact of World War II on his loving, but emotional and financially war-damaged parents, their eventual break-up and their struggles to re-establish themselves back into society – and their success at doing so. Time in a Russian POW camp had left...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.