Molecular memory

	Sir: Lionel Milgrom's account of Jacques
	Benveniste's research ("The memory of molecules",
	19 March) failed to make it clear that the
	experiment discussed, where a biological signal is
	recorded, transmitted over the Internet, and
	applied to water elsewhere to regenerate the
	biological effects of the source, is not just an
	idea but rather an experiment that has already
	been carried out, with impressive results (see
	Benveniste's web pages at
	We invited him to describe his work at our weekly
	colloquium to learn more about the research, which
	seems both scientifically interesting and
	potentially of considerable practical importance.
	While the results claimed may seem surprising, the
	Cavendish Laboratory has been host to many
	surprising discoveries during the 125 years of its
	existence, and the controversial nature of the
	claims was not seen as good cause to follow the
	herd and veto his making a presentation.
	In regard to the Nature condemnation of 1988, my
	conclusion at that time was that its authors had
	made an insufficient case for its headline claim
	"High-dilution experiments a delusion", and
	nothing since has led me to see the frequent
	denunciations of the work as anything other than
	the hysteria that frequently accompanies claims
	that challenge the orthodox point of view.
	The manifestations of scientific prejudice, well
	documented by Michel Schiff in the book The Memory
	of Water, can be extraordinary; another reason why
	we felt it important to invite Dr Benveniste to
	talk at our colloquium and be able to present his
	results to scientists in an uncensored form. I am
	grateful to The Independent for following on with
	its article.
	Professor Brian Josephson, Cavendish Laboratory,
	Department of Physics, University of Cambridge 

published in The Independent, March 22nd., 1999.