Tribute to Professor George Lewith


All of us in AFI are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Professor George Lewith. George has died on 17 March, aged 67.  Professor Lewith was a qualified physician and general practitioner who had recently retired from clinical practice. Lewith graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in medicine and biochemistry. He then went on to Westminster Medical School to complete his clinical studies and began working clinically in 1974.

He was one of the most productive researchers of alternative medicine and a great advocate for CAM research.

Lewith’s research has ranged across several areas of complementary medicine. This has involved examining how complementary techniques might be investigated and the development of new research methodology to evaluate complementary techniques, as well as the collection of primary research data concerning a variety of complementary techniques. In his career, Lewith has published over 330 peer-reviewed publications, authored several books and contributed to several others.

In 1997, Lewith presented a documentary series examining complementary medicine for Channel 4 called Natural Born Healers. The series won a Royal Television Society award for its programme on herbalism. In 2004 he participated in a radio series presented by Anna Ford about complementary medicine co-produced by BBC Radio 4 and the Open University, titled The Other Medicine.

George was a friend not only to all of the acupuncture profession, but to the whole of complementary medicine. As well as being a research leader he was also politically savvy, working tirelessly up front and behind the scenes to try to bring acupuncture and CAM further into the mainstream. Nobody did more. He will be greatly missed.