A couple of weeks ago, Tu Youyou became the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.” (Tu had already won the Lasker Award a few years ago for the same work, and had described her work this way.) There were cheers and hopes that with the prize, more people would become aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the tremendous amount of work being put in to update the ancient arts with modern science and technology.
But very soon in the West, I see popping up everywhere “straw man” arguments 1.
First, there is the line of attack that goes something like this: so what if Dr. Tu found one drug from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that turned out to work. That per se doesn’t validate the whole tradition. As this Daily Kos post noted: Continue reading Turning a Nobel Prize to a Chinese for Artemisinin Into a Eulogy for Traditional Chinese Medicine?