A Cross-Cultural study into the Epistemic, Socioeconomic, Political and Ethical implications of using Evidence-based Medicine to evaluate Traditional Chinese Medicine
Dr Yin Gao and Dr Bill Herfel
Dr Yin Gao is an early career researcher with interests in the philosophy of science and the foundations of medical research. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Newcastle at the end of 2005. Dr William Herfel is a Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science. His early work in the US focused on the philosophic implications of chaos theory. He then turned his attention to applying the concepts of complex systems theory to the scientific process itself.
Bill and Yin have teamed up – along with Dianah Rodriguez – to explore the philosophic foundations of Chinese medicine from a complex systems perspective at the ArtsHealth Centre for Research and Practice.
Their current cross-cultural study into the epistemic, socioeconomic, political and ethical implications of using evidence-based medicine to evaluate Traditional Chinese Medicine combines expertise in ancient and modern Chinese language, philosophy of complex systems, an understanding of biomedical research methods and traditional Chinese philosophy and medical practice.
The group have already had a paper published in the high-profile Journal of Chinese Philosophy and have been invited to speak in China, the US and Australia.
One aim of their research is to provide a basis for a fairer evaluation of the Chinese literature and to help build a bridge for the West to tap in resources and develop cooperation with the Chinese medical researchers and practitioners. In addition to the academic significance of such an endeavour, there is also huge practical significance in terms of articulating a unique alternative medical strategy in Australia at a time when a crisis is emerging in orthodox medicine. As well, there are industrial interests in developing new medical and pharmaceutical products, developing training programs for biomedical and TCM researchers and practitioners from here and their counterpart from PRC helping them to understand and appreciate each other’s work and to learn from each other, and developing research and practice links for Australian researchers and practitioners with their Chinese counterparts.
The project will provide a foundation for medical policy recommendations optimising the delivery of medical care (in both urban and regional areas) by intelligent integration of modern and traditional approaches. This can be best done from a cross-cultural perspective.