Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dr. Lance Storm Awarded the 2007 Bolton Fellowship

The Frances P. Bolton Fellowship was awarded on March 1st, 2007 to Dr. Lance Storm, who received his Ph.D. in 2002 from Adelaide University in Australia. His doctoral dissertation is entitled A Parapsychological Investigation of the Theory of Psychopraxia: Experimental and Theoretical Researches into an Alternative Theory Explaining Normal and Paranormal Phenomena. Read more details about Dr. Storm and his work at the website of the Parapsychology Foundation.

Parapsychology Foundation Blog Update

The 18th PF Lyceum blog was posted on March 22nd, 2007. Written by Rosemarie Pilkington, it introduces her new book, The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof: The Enigma of Seance Phenomena published by Anomalist Books, which reviews a series of seances conducted in the 1930s that resulted in such physical phenomena as table-tilting and direct writing. To read the new blog, click here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Skeptiko Review

I am behind in updating Public Parapsychology about the latest podcasts at Last week, Skeptiko presented an interview with Dr. Charles Tart in which he discussed his research findings and personal conclusions about spirituality, meditation, and transpersonal psychology. This week, there is an interview with Stephan A. Schwartz exploring the connection between his research into remote viewing and global climate change.

Typically, I copy information from the press releases into these blog posts, and will probably resume doing so next week, but this week I just wanted to say a few words about Skeptiko. Since my day job requires me to drive around the city on Tuesdays, I've made a weekly habit of listening to these interviews in the car. I happen to be the last person on earth who doesn't own an mp3 player, but it's still a very simple process. All I have to do is download the mp3, burn it to a CD...and remember to pack it in my teaching bag before leaving. Today will be my fifth Tuesday of listening to Skeptiko podcasts as I make my rounds, and it has become a rather enjoyable routine.

The host, Alex Tsakiris, interviews various scholars who represent a variety of positions on parapsychological topics, from well-known skeptics to active researchers in the field. During many interviews, audio clips from other personalities in the field are presented, to which interviewees are invited to respond. The presentation is balanced, and there is clearly an effort to construct a dialogue between the people who are interviewed week after week. Skeptiko is not necessarily creating this dialogue. In a sense, it already exists at parapsychology conferences and in peer-reviewed journals around the world, but the site presents this dialogue to the general public in a manner that is both unique and accessible.

It has been delightful to witness how quickly the show has grown into its own since its inception just a few months ago. Now as I listen to each installment, I think about what myself and the host have learned since the last one. I wonder which selections from previous interviews might be replayed again, and who is going to have the opportunity to respond to them. The podcasts are developing into a series, where the narrative of science, at the tipping point, progresses week after week.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lund University Seeks Psychology Graduates

The Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP) under the direction of Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D., encourages very bright psychology graduates interested in anomalous psychology (including psi) to apply to do a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Lund, Sweden (ranked by Newsweek as one of the top 20 universities in Europe). Selection is very competitive but the top 2-3 students accepted into the department get free tuition and payment; about 3 others will get free tuition but will have to pay their way otherwise. The studies can be done in English. The application deadline (which requires a plan of studies) is April 15th. If you still have questions after reading the information linked below, please contact Prof. Cardeña.

Click here for more information about the program.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Podcast from Skeptiko

Join host Alex Tsakiris when he interviews well known skeptic and consciousness author, Dr. Susan Blackmore about her journey from a disillusioned parapsychology researcher to an author on human consciousness. During the 30-minute interview Blackmore directly states her conclusions about human consciousness: “We live in a pointless universe. We’re here for no reason at all. There isn’t a soul. There isn’t a spirit. We’re not going to live forever in some kind of heaven, or something like that. And, I think there are no paranormal phenomena, although I can’t be sure of that. Yet, we have extraordinary experiences.”

She also explains how her longtime Zen mediation practice has impacted her work: “If you sit in meditation and stare into the face of a rising phenomena what do you see? I think most people would agree that after some practice, and learning to calm the mind and see clearly… that if you sit in meditation and then ask something like, ‘who am I?’ you don’t find that self. This is one of the fundamental discoveries in meditation.”

The interview is available for immediate free download at

Saturday, March 03, 2007

New PF Lyceum Blog Post

The Parapsychology Foundation's Lyceum Blog has been updated with an essay written by Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado on the life and acheivements of Dr. Ian Stevenson.