Elsevier journal announces the David Horrobin Prize for medical theory

Lecture on schizophrenia launches award, in honour of Medical Hypotheses founder.

London, 21 June 2004 - Medical Hypotheses, an Elsevier publication, announces the David Horrobin Prize for medical theory today in London. Dr. David Healy, director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Wales College of Medicine, will officially launch the award by presenting his lecture entitled, “Schizophrenia: The Dangers of Current Treatment and Need for New Approaches.”

The £1,000 prize will be awarded annually beginning in early 2005, when the first recipient is selected. It is named in honour of Dr. David Horrobin, the renowned researcher, biotechnology expert and founder of Medical Hypotheses, who died in 2003. Dr. Horrobin was a prolific clinical scientist, and an incisively brilliant philosophical thinker who taught and authored numerous papers and books on topics ranging from lipid biochemistry to orthomolecular medicine.

While many different medical areas captured Dr. Horrobin’s attention, the common thread woven through all of his work was his interest in active scientific debate. Dr. Horrobin believed that untested theories are just as valuable to medicine, and he wanted to leave the lines of communication open for active discussion, discourse and development - particularly in areas where a general consensus has not yet been established. Medical Hypotheses is the only journal that provides an open forum for speculative medical ideas and theories.

“Although his life had many successes, David regarded this journal as one of his major achievements, and this prize seems an appropriate way to celebrate his memory,” said Dr. Bruce Charlton, editor of Medical Hypotheses.

The recipient will be chosen from among all of the authors who have papers published in 2004. The winning submission will be the one that best embodies the spirit of the journal, which has always been to publish the most bold, even radical bio-medical theories.

Dr. Healy was chosen to kick off the launch ceremony, in part because of his ability to spark medical debates and also because he will be speaking about schizophrenia, a topic that long-interested Dr. Horrobin, who covered it in his last book, "The Madness of Adam and Eve." Both shared the belief that current therapies have evolved with no consideration of what patients think of their own treatment, and that there is a dire need for change in this regard.

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