William M. London

with Cici
Rongxiang Xu College of Health & Human Services
Department of Public Health
Office Location: ST 320
Phone: 323-343-5867 Email: [email protected]


I began my Cal State LA career in the 2006-2007 academic year as coordinator of the Health Science Program. In Fall 2007, I began my appointment as a professor in the Health Science Program (which later became the Department of Health Science and is now the Department of Public Health with both a B.S. in Public Health Program and an M.P.H. Program). My previous faculty appointments were at Kent State University, College of Saint Elizabeth (Morristown, NJ), Walden University, Touro University International (now Trident University International), Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, and California State University, Long Beach. I've also had administrative positions at RAP Inc. (telephone crisis hotline and telephone reassurance program for homebound elderly in Genesee County, NY), the American Council on Science and Health, and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. I have served as the founding president of the Ohio Council Against Health Fraud, Inc., the president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, a contributing editor to the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and Aberrant Health Practices, and North American senior editor of the journal Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies (FACT).

I am currently editor of the weekly e-newsletter Consumer Health Digest (after serving as associate editor from 2002 to 2017), a content curator for the Center for Inquiry's Coronavirus Resource Center page, developer of the Center for Inquiry's Dubious COVID-19 Treatments and Preventives page, co-host of the Credential Watch website (since 2005), an associate editor of the American Journal of Health Behavior, a review board member of the journal Health Behavior and Policy Review, a member of the peer review board of the Journal of Health Education Teaching, a section editor (complementary and alternative medicine) for the California Journal of Health Promotion, a reviewer for the journal Pedagogy in Health Promotion, online Consumer Health columnist for Skeptical Inquirer, and a fellow of the Committee on Skeptical Inquiry.


Major areas of emphasis in my teaching include the importance of: information literacy, numeracy (numerical literacy), healthy skepticism, science & ethics-based practice, and consumer advocacy regarding public health issues. I like to teach about addiction, risk perception, priority setting in public health, and human vulnerability to deception and misperception related to health. I have taught more than fifty different undergraduate and graduate courses during my career.

I've taught these undergraduate courses at Cal State L.A.:

  • Community Health Care Programs
  • Consumer Health (formerly Selecting Medical Products and Services)
  • Data Analysis in Public Health
  • Directed Study
  • Drugs and Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Health and Wellness
  • Health Care Delivery System
  • Healthy Skepticism
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Higher Education
  • Introduction to Research Analysis and Technical Writing
  • Internship
  • Proseminar: Current Issues in Health
  • Psychophysiology of Substance Abuse and Violence
  • Public Health Administration
  • Statistics in Health and Human Services
  • Theory and Principles of Public Health
  • Transition to California State University, Los Angeles for Health and Human Services Majors

I've taught these graduate courses at Cal State LA:

  • Culminating Project
  • Principles of Epidemiology


I study a wide range of consumer health issues. I'm especially interested in studying the promotion of health-related misinformation, sensationalism, superstition, pseudoscience, and quackery through mass media and interpersonal communication and the vulnerability of consumers to deception, cognitive biases, and errors in perception. 


London WM. (editor). Consumer Health Digest e-newsletter. Also see Index to COVID-19 News Briefs.

weekly issues since January 2019

London, W. Numerical hygiene: promoting health numeracy in professional preparation of health educators. Presented at the Society for Public Health Education Digital Annual Conference.

2022, March 25

London, W.  Combatting COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation online. Presented at the Society for Public Health Education Digital Annual Conference.

2022, March 25

London WM. Superstitionology for people in a hurry [review of Superstition: A Very Short Introduction by Stuart Vyse, 2020]. Skeptical Inquirer 45(4):57-58 2021, July/August
London WM. Quackery: a neglected population health and societal menace. Presented via Zoom to Capital District Humanist Society, Loudonville, New York. 2021, April 11

Alvarez E. Amado Vu Y. London WM. The precautionary principle. In McQueen, DV (editor). Oxford Bibliographies in Public Health. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756797-0046. New York: Oxford University Press. 

updated 2021, September; major update 2018, January; originally published 2013.

London WM. CFI inoculates against COVID-19 misinformationSkeptical Inquirer 45(1):9-10. 2021, January/February
London WM. Health-related quackery. Presented via Zoom to Houston Oasis, Houston Texas. 2020, December 20
London WM. Trust, truth, and Trump in the time of "COVID, COVID, COVID"Skepitical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). 2020, December 14

London WM. When you think science is on your side but it isn't. Presented via Zoom to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (New York).

2020, October 4

London WM. Trump and COVID-19: population health neglect, hydroxychloroquine hype, and a gambler’s fallacySkepitical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). 2020, August 13
London WM. Dubious COVID-19 treatments and preventives. Center for Inquiry. 2020, May 27 with ongoing updates
London WM. COVID-19 schemes, scams, and misinformation. Quackwatch. 2020, April 2 with ongoing updates
London WM. Can naturopathic doctors combat COVID-19? Skepitical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). Also published by Center for Inquiry, March 31, 2020. 2020, April 2

London WM. Health textbook is outdated and wrong (letter). Acorn Thousand Oaks, 8.

2019, September 19

London WM. D. Gary Young (1949-2018), diploma mill naturopath and promoter of essential oils. Skepitical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). 2019, January 9
London WM. Numerical hygiene: a health numeracy workshop. CSICON 2018, Las Vegas, NV 2018, October 18
London WM. Essential considerations about aromatherapy. [Translated to Spanish here.] Skeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column).  2018, August 9
London WM. Assessment as instructional activity: How I apply principles of criterion-referenced mastery learning in my teaching. Presented at the Third Annual Assessment Faire, California State University, Los Angeles. 2018, April 6
London WM. Some success against City of Hope's cancer miracle mongering? Skeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). 2018, February 2

London WM. (associate editor). Consumer Health Digest e-newsletter.

weekly issues 2002 (February) - 2017

London WM. Chiropractors and diabetes gimmickry.  Skeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column).

2017, November 13

Chouhan P. London WM. Aberrant treatments promoted on websites of licensed naturopathic doctors in Los Angeles County. Paper presention at CSICON 2017 (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry conference), Las Vegas, NV.

2017, October 29

London WM. Butter: Bad or Good. Los Angeles Times, A12. Published online as: Sorry you butter, steak, and fat lovers: It really IS about what you eat

2017, August 1

London WM. The "health freedom" movement versus consumer protection. "Talking Public Health" series webinar presentation sponsored by the Southern California Public Health Association, California Baptist University's Department of Health Science, and CBU Online.

2017, May 12

London WM. Schaefer D. Exploring the influence of health information on individual behavior change. In Moghissi AA. Ross G. (eds.). Standing With Giants: A Collection of Public Health Essays in Memoriam to Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan. American Council on Science and Health.


London WM. The "health freedom" movement versus consumer protection. Presentations at the Center for Inquiry--Los Angeles, Hollywood, CA and Neighborhood Community Center, Costa Mesa, CA (sponsored by Center for Inquiry, Los Angeles).

2016, August 21

London WM. Cancer miracle mongering by City of HopeSkeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column).

Republished at Healthnewsreview.org.

2016, August 2

2016, September 8

London WM. Quack Busters' leader William Jarvis dies at 80Skeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column).

Skeptical Inquirer (print edition). 40(4):8-9.

2016, March 22

2016, July/August

London WM. The Cancer Control Society. Presented at SkeptiCamp LA 2016, Skeptics by the Sea, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA. 2016, May 7
London WM. Value of armchair providing mechanical massage and mental relaxation programmes is not established for workplace health promotion. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 21(1):44-45. DOI: 10.1111/fct.12222 2016, March
London WM. A chiropractor's dinner seminar promoting laser treatment of arthritisSkeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). 2016, February 10

London WM. A non-rigorous investigation of aroma-acupressure and aromatherapy treatment of dementia-associated agitation. [summary and commentary] Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 20(3-4):146-147. DOI: 10.1111/fct.12206. Article first published online November 24, 2015.

2015, December
London WM. Continuing education in the toxin haunted world of the Cancer Control SocietySkeptical Inquirer (Consumer Health column). 2015, November 9
London WM. Skeptical activism of the Investigation NetworkSkeptical Briefs, 25(3):3-4. 2015, Fall
London WM. The year 2525 ain't what it used to be. [review of the Skeptics Society conference on the future of science and humanity]. eSkeptic.  2015, June 17

London WM. Charlotte Gerson: Promoter of cancer “therapy” that failed the “Wellness Warrior”Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2015, March 26

London WM. Student-developed Health “Street Smarts” Fairs to promote critical thinking on campus. Poster presented at the CSU Symposium on University Teaching: “GRIT: Exploring perseverance, mindset and character in the classroom.” California State University, Los Angeles, CA

2015, March 14

London WM. Calling out the vaccine-fear-mongering "chiroquactic" establishmentSwift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2015, March 12

London WM. A group stance on vaccination. Los Angeles Times, p. A12. Published online as: Chiropractors have no businesses giving advice on vaccines. Los Angeles Times.

2015, March 9/10

London WM. New memoir from the iconoclastic Edzard ErnstSwift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2015, March 9

London WM. [Review] CG Brown. The Healing Gods: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America]. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 20(1):e1-e3. DOI: 10.1111/fct.12168. 

2015, March
London WM. The Straw Protocol: A Chiropractor’s Aggressively Promoted Neuropathy TreatmentScience-Based Medicine. See mention of article in this NBC4 I-Team report: Johnson C, Roher C. Some patients say SoCal chiropractic business has drained their bank accounts and their hope. NBC Los Angeles. August 14, 2019. 2015, February 27

London WM. ‘Brain Porn’ in NBC Nightly News ‘Power of Prayer’ Follow-upSwift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2015, January 21

London WM. NBC Nightly News Wields the Power of Pandering in ‘Power of Prayer’ Report. Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation). Reprinted by Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

2015, January 12

London WM. Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures” [Part 6]Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2014, December 30

London WM. Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures” [Part 5: the Cancer Holocaust Ploy]Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2014, December 24
London WM. Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures” [Part 4]Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation). 2014, December 16
London WM. Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures” [Part 3]Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation). 2014, November 28
London WM. Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures” [Part 2]Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation). 2014, November 19
London WM. Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures” [Part 1]Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation). 2014, November 12

London WM. No Healing Miracles Found in ‘John of God’ Follow-Up Investigation. Swift (James Randi Educational Foundation). Reprinted by Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

2014, November 3

London WM. Another Brain Cancer Patient Suffers and Dies Following Burzynski TreatmentSwift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2014, October 27

London WM. Health “street smarts” fairs. Presented at the Skepticamp event, Center for Inquiry—Los Angeles, Hollywood, CA.

2014, October 25

London WM. Disgraceful revelations about “faith healer” Ernest AngleySwift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2014, October 17

London WM. Why I oppose quackerySwift (James Randi Educational Foundation).

2014, September 30
London WM. Medical Renegade Paul M. Fleiss, M.D. Dead at 80Skeptic Ink. 2014, August 12

London WM. Some recent stories of tainted supplementsSkeptic Ink.

2014, July 21

London WM. Weak evidence of effects of yoga on sexual function in women with metabolic syndrome. [summary and commentary] Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 19(2):107-108. DOI: 10.1111/fct.12103/

London WM. The predictive value of screening tests and phone calls from guys you want to love you, part 3Skeptic Ink. 2014, January 19

London WM. Kevin Trudeau tops the list of the dirtiest dozen ducktors of 2013Skeptic Ink.

2014, January 10
London WM. Winter Solstice 2113. Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.  2013, December 25
London WM. Education content areas: consumer health. p. 190-192.  In A. C. Cory & D. C. Wiley (eds.), Encyclopedia of School Health. Los Angeles: Sage Reference. ISBN: 9781412996006 2013

Barrett S. London WM. Acupuncture’s elephant in the room. JAMA Intern Med, 173(8):712-713.


Barrett S. London WM. Kroger M. Hall H. Baratz R. Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions, Ninth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. (Also co-authored earlier editions in 1997, 2002, and 2007.)

London WM. The predictive value of screening tests and phone calls from guys you want to love you, part 2Skeptic Ink. 2013, December 31
London WM. The predictive value of screening tests and phone calls from guys you want to love you, part 1Skeptic Ink. 2013, December 21
London WM. A communication autopsy of a feel-good television news health storySkeptic Ink. 2013, December 9

London WM. Justification for chiropractic care to prevent recurrence of neck pain remains elusive. [summary and commentary] Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 18(1):37-38. DOI: 10.1111/fct.12009_2. Article first published online Feb. 2013. 

London WM. 2012 Annual Slim Chance Awards announced. healthgadfly. 2013 January 2

London WM. [Review] Clinical Research in Complementary Therapies: Principles, Problems, and Solutions, 2nd Edition. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 17(1)e3-e8. DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2011.01107.x Article first published online: 19 Oct 2011. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2042-7166.2011.01107.x/full


London WM. Please don’t define “complementary and alternative medicine practices!” Science-Based Medicine.

2011, October 28

London WM. Clinical effects of chiropractic on infantile colic. [summary and commentary] Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 16(3), 241-242. DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2011.01106_14.x


London WM. The promotion of non-science-based healthcare by chiropractors in the city of Los Angeles. Presented at TAM9 (The Amazing Meeting 9) of the James Randi Educational Foundation, Las Vegas, NV.

2011, July 17

London WM. It worked for me! The healthy skeptic’s guide to testimonials. Webinar presentation via HPCareer.Net’s Health Promotion Live. 

2011, April 1

London WM. [Review] Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine [4th Edition]. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 15(4), 334-338. Article first published online: 25 Nov 2010. DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2010.01054_1.x. 


London WM. Fallacies and falsehoods at the 2009 Cancer Control Society Convention. Presented at TAM8 (The Amazing Meeting 8) of the James Randi Educational Foundation, Las Vegas, NV.

2010, July 11

London WM. Sugarcoating taxes. Los Angeles Times, A.32.

2009, October 10




M.P.H. health administration 1995

  • Loma Linda University
    Loma Linda, CA

Ed.D. health education 1986

  • University at Buffalo (SUNY)
    Buffalo, NY

Ed.M. health education 1984

  • University at Buffalo (SUNY)
    Buffalo, NY

Ed.M. educational psychology 1984

  • University at Buffalo (SUNY)
    Buffalo, NY

B.A. biological science 1980 & B.A. geography 1980, magna cum laude

  • University at Buffalo (SUNY)
    Buffalo, NY

I also completed all coursework except the thesis toward an M.S. in clinical research at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA.

Additional Website: