As of April 30, 2020 the two years deadline to apply for participation expired. We will no longer accept applications under the conditions of this challenge. This page will stay online for reference on this project. A report on the results of the first and only participant was published in Skeptiker 1/2020 (in German).
There still are questions not addressed by our protocol and our website? Then check out this page - and in case you still have open questions please refer to our contact form (link).
(1) Who sponsored the prize money? Is Big Pharma involved?
The prize money is sponsored by a private person not involved with Big Pharma or any other organization in healthcare. Our sponsor himself, who prefers to stay anonymous, is not involved with healthcare either but wants to promote understanding of homeopathy.
(2) Why is there a deadline for application?
We prefer to conclude our test within a reasonable time span. Two years seems adequate to us. Everybody interested in this matter will have had his opportunity for application by then.
(3) Is it possible to modify the conditions of the protocol?
Before the contract is signed some general conditions my be discussed and modified. But randomization and blinding conditions must be maintained. After the contract between GWUP and the participant is agreed to and signed conditions and protocol cannot be modified any more.
(4) Why does GWUP require a deposit?
Procurement of our specimen is a demanding and costly task. If the participant is unable to provide a valid solution we want to be reimbursed for the cost of purchase, the notary and the shipments involved. In the event that any participant quits the trial and just does not show up any more we do not want to have open receivables.
(5) What if the period of time needed is longer than six months as given in the protocol?
According to the conditions of our protocol, the applicant has to specify the time span within which he will be able to provide his solution. The maximum span of six months is defined so that every participant may be able to finish his work after the deadline for application has expired. If the applicant can name a reasonable cause for a longer time prior to signing the contract, it might be possible to account for this.
(6) Why is there a limit of five teams working at the same time?
GWUP advances the funding for the procurement of the specimen without using the participant's deposit. The procurement and the following support seems complex. We defined a maximum number of concurrent participants to keep this manageable for the restricted means of a charity organisation.
(7) What is the goal of GWUP?
Homeopaths and their followers quite frequently claim, that GWUP and other skeptics have some limited views and only in keeping to the dogma of science are able to maintain their position, that homeopathic preparations are not to be distinguished from one another with the conclusion that homeopathy is quackery. With this challenge we drop all requirements of a scientifically valid methodology. This is to show that even under the most favorable conditions it remains impossible to identify homeopathic preparations, even with methods that are generally used by homeopaths or are claimed to be suitable.
(8) Why do you want a description of the method?
The position of GWUP is falsified when it is possible to distinguish homeopathic preparations from one another by some repeatable method when no other features that may help in identification are present. Valid solutions by chance are not considered sufficient. Some written description of the approach which might be compiled during the first part, is important to exclude luck as the true source of the success and is the groundstone for future research.
(9) Why do you require an outline of the approach while applying for participation?
We offer quite a remarkable sum of money for a prize for the first successful participant. This might attract people interested in “gambling” or might be mistaken for some kind of lottery. Those people would block the limited number of places for other more serious participants. The outlines of what the participants plan to do will help us to convince such jesters not to join in this challenge.
(10) Why do you require two rounds of 12 bottles each? And why one error per round?
We want to ensure that it is near to impossible to find the proper solution by chance alone. Thus we defined conditions where the probability of guessing the right solution is very low. In this case it is smaller than to win the jackpot in the German lottery. To divide this into two rounds allows some sort of screening with reduced effort, and is handy for verifying the participant's method.