Friday, April 27, 2007

The PEAR lab has closed - an open letter from Jahn and Dunne

Dear PEAR Friend,

As you may already know, the PEAR laboratory program at Princeton University closed its experimental facilities at the end of February. Despite rumors to the contrary, this move was not imposed upon us but was our own carefully considered decision, based on a constellation of relevant factors. We felt that we had accomplished what we originally set out to do 28 years ago, namely to determine whether anomalous consciousness-related phenomena could be studied under rigorously controlled laboratory conditions and, if so, whether they were real and what were their salient characteristics. The enormous databases produced by PEAR have provided clear evidence that human thought and emotion can produce small but measurable influences on physical reality and have established numerous insights into their major correlates. They have also established the basis for several conceptual models that attempt to accommodate the empirical results within a scientific framework. While there are still many important questions to be addressed before we can hope for a full understanding of the nature, function, purpose, and utility of these phenomena, productive further study will require a coordinated interdisciplinary approach to the topic that has not been feasible under the prevailing intellectual and technological constraints of our university environment.

Given the substantial technological, financial, and human resources that would have been required to continue the existing program, we agreed that the most productive and efficient use of our own future efforts would be to provide guidance and encouragement to a new generation of scholars who can extend this study into fresh and more challenging domains of investigation. To this end, we have transferred several pieces of our experimental equipment to a respected colleague at another university, and have been engaged in an extensive archiving program of PEAR's insights and databases. We shall continue to maintain and periodically update the PEAR website, which now includes more than 50 archival publications and reports that can be downloaded from the Publications page and which are indexed in the "Current Web Contents" of Thomson Scientific's ISI Web of Knowledge. We shall also continue to maintain our mailing list and provide information about future publications and activities. Look for an anthology of PEAR publications pertinent to the burgeoning fields of complementary and alternative medicine that will be appearing in a special May issue of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, edited by Dr. Larry Dossey.

Our future plans include oversight of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories , a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1996 to promote quality research, educational initiatives, and practical applications of consciousness-related anomalies. The members of ICRL represent some 20 countries and a broad range of professional backgrounds, and most of them have had associations with the PEAR program in the past. In addition to ICRL's affiliation with strip mind media, which created our educational DVD/CD set entitled "The PEAR Proposition," we also serve as advisors to Psyleron, an emerging company in Bethlehem, PA that produces a new line of state-of-the-art technology for human/machine studies, and to EcoGnosis in Nashville, TN, which investigates the effects of sound, color, and geometry on the functioning of human consciousness. Among other current ICRL projects are several REG-based investigations, the study of acoustic resonance patterns and regional brain activity, preparation of a book of essays on the nature of consciousness "filters," and development of a web-course addressing the role of consciousness in the physical world. All of ICRL's funding derives from charitable contributions, so if you are interested in, and in a position to support any or all of these activities we would welcome your gift.

We shall also continue to serve as Officers of the Society for Scientific Exploration and encourage you to consider joining that organization if you are not already a member.

Although the era of the PEAR laboratory, per se, has been completed, we look forward to these next chapters of the PEAR saga with considerable enthusiasm. While we take great satisfaction in the intellectual accomplishments of our long-standing research program, we have derived even even greater pleasures from the extensive network of friends and colleagues that our work has attracted, and we thank you most warmly for your continued interest and support.

With kindest regards,

Bob Jahn and Brenda Dunne

Thursday, April 26, 2007

PF Lyceum Blog: Rhea White

Dr. Carlos Alvarado has written a new blog post, In Memory of Rhea A. White: Recollections of a Life in Parapsychology, and Beyond. It's a well-written essay with a lot of great links, so check it out!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Parapsychology Career Project

I received an email from Eric, an 8th grader in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, who is researching the career of a parapsychologist for a school project. Eric has some very good questions about what parapsychologists do for a living, and he is looking for volunteers to address the following:

1. A parapsychologist's daily schedule and responsibilities
2. The educational requirements, training, and certification to become a parapsychologist
3. A ballpark figure of a parapsychologist's salary ranges and benefits
4. An estimated job outlook
5. The importance of this career to life science

If you are a PA member and you would like to help Eric with his school project, please email me at and I will put you in touch with him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Contact Information

Public Parapsychology
P.O. Box 24173
Columbus, OH 43224

general inquiries:
calls for participants:
research summaries:

Richard Wiseman on Skeptiko

Join host Alex Tsakiris when he interviews psychology researcher and paranormal skeptic Dr. Richard Wiseman about the skeptical community, paranormal research, and quirky psychology.

During the 40-minute interview Wiseman explains what’s lacking in paranormal research and skeptical inquiry: “The public is actually badly served by the science community in that sense. There’s a deep wanting to know what’s gong on from some members of the public … so I think a coming together, where people design experiments, conduct experiments and interrupt them in a collaborative way may be a more constructive way forward.”

He also explains why he’s not convinced all parapsychology research is warranted: “Should we continue looking for these rather strange, bizarre phenomena? My answer to that is quite complicated. It depends on what else we might be doing with our time, and whose paying for it, and so on.

Download the interview with Richard Wiseman here.

IONS 2007 Conference

Registration is open for the 2007 conference of the Institute for Noetic Sciences. The conference, titled Consciousness in Action: The Science and Practice of Transformation, will be held August 8-12 in Palm Springs, California.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Latest Skeptiko Podcast

This week, Alex Tsakiris interviews Dr. James Alcock, professor of psychology at York University in Toronto and author of numerous scholarly articles and several books, including Psi Wars: Getting to Grips with the Paranormal.

During the 40-minute interview Alcock counters the notion that parapsychologists don’t garner attention from academia: “… if one could come up with good data that showed there’s something to it, the parapsychologists would be trampled by psychologists and physicists rushing to the study of it.” He also discusses the path forward for parapsychology research: “What I’d like to promote is that one … bend over backwards to think of ways that you can be fooled. To think of ways that you might be mistaken. The bane of every researcher is to be captivated by some notion, and then go find it, even if it’s not there.”

The podcast is avaible for download at

Details for the PA Convention Announced

The Parapsychological Association's website now has registration information for the 2007 convention available at their website. The convention will be held from August 2-5 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I'm going to try to make it there this year. Who else is going?

General Update

Spring seems to be the season for deadlines because I've had more than a couple come up over the last few weeks, both personal and professional. On March 29th, I submitted my second installment of book reviews of the D. Scott Rogo collection to the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Then yesterday was the deadline to submit papers to the annual conference of the Parapsychological Association, to which a coauthor and I submitted a research brief. And as I type this, I am procrastinating on getting my taxes done!

There have been ups and downs over the last few weeks, as well as a good bit of excitement as far as Public Parapsychology is concerned. In February, I received a grant that made it possible to get memberships to the top professional organizations in the field, which means that I'm now getting most of the major parapsychology journals delivered to my door. That makes it much, much easier to keep up on the field. Of course, having a stack of current parapsychology journals on my dresser means that there are lots of great articles to present to the public on this site, including a collaborative study of my own! I'd better get to work.

I was also able to purchase a domain name ( and P.O. box for Public Parapsychology. It's not time to update your bookmarks yet because I'm still using Blogger to update the site, but at least I now have a place to handle my site email and store files as necessary. And you can send me mail now! I like getting mail, so send me some. Go ahead, you know you want to....

Public Parapsychology
P.O. Box 24173
Columbus, OH 43224

Last but not least, I am looking for other researchers/students in the field of parapsychology who are interested in guest blogging for the site. The field of parapsychology might be pretty tiny, but it is still too much for one person to digest, so email me if you've got some background in the field and you're interested in writing editorials, reviews, or articles for Public Parapsychology.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Things in Store for Public Parapsychology

I thought readers would be interested in this press release that my good friend Kevin at Complex Interiority helped create. There are new things in store for Public Parapsychology (and not just the fabulous new mirror site at Read on. -- Annalisa



Columbus, OH, April 9, 2007 – Every day, at universities and private laboratories around the world, quality research is being conducted on extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, phenomena suggestive of life after death, and other assorted parapsychological topics.

These phenomena have fascinated mankind for ages, but little of the research findings have been presented to the public in an accessible way. It seems that as the methodologies employed by parapsychologists become more refined, the wider the chasm grows between the researcher and the public that he or she serves.

In an effort to bridge this gap, independent researcher Annalisa Ventola has created Public Parapsychology (, a web site promoting public scholarship in the fields of parapsychology and anomalous psychology. The site presents news, calls for participants, research summaries, reviews, and editorials by and about scholars who publish research on parapsychological topics in peer-reviewed journals.

Public Parapsychology is currently accepting content contributions and review copies from researchers, organizations, and publishers to increase its coverage of the field.

News: Press releases, web site updates, book, lecture, or conference announcements, and any other news of interest can be sent to, so that they may be reposted on the site.

Calls for Participants: Public Parapsychology’s readership is worldwide and eager to participate in research. Calls for study participants are welcome, no matter the particular location of the study, and can be sent to

Research Summaries: Research summaries are central to the mission of Public Parapsychology. These summaries present recently published experimental research to the public in general terms. If you would like your latest study summarized for the site, electronic copies can be sent to or reprints can be sent to Public Parapsychology, P.O. Box 24173, Columbus, OH, 43224. Researchers will have final approval of any summaries created for the site, and they will not be presented online until after the study has appeared in print. Researchers are also welcome to write and submit their own summaries.

Reviews: Public Parapsychology will soon be providing reviews of books and conferences. Review copies of books can be sent to the address above for consideration. Email to arrange to have a reviewer present at your lecture or conference.

Editorials: Public Parapsychology is seeking guest writers to present editorials on current issues in parapsychology and anomalous psychology. Contact for more information.

“Public Parapsychology has the potential to become an important point of contact between those doing parapsychological research and those generally interested but otherwise unable to follow scholarship,” says site founder Annalisa Ventola. “There has to be some sort of middle ground between telling a good anecdote and losing your audience in the intricacies of scientific research. For me, founding this site is an effort to find that middle ground. By inviting web site visitors to ‘explore, support, and participate,’ it is my hope that researchers and members of the public will have the opportunity to mutually inform one another.”

Public Parapsychology
P.O. Box 24173
Columbus, Ohio 43224


Saturday, April 07, 2007

New Stories on Research of Interest

Dr. Ciaran O’Keefe plans to conduct an experiment to see if low-frequency noises are responsible for the paranormal activity in Mary King’s Close.

David R. Hodge, an assistant professor of social work in the College of Human Services at Arizona State University, conducted a comprehensive analysis of 17 major studies on the effects of intercessory prayer – or prayer that is offered for the benefit of another person – among people with psychological or medical problems. He found a positive effect.

A Case Western Reserve University professor, Howard Hall has been studying Sufi mystics from the Middle East and has published scientific research that indicates there could be a "paranormal" force allowing rapid healing of wounds to the human body.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Latest Skeptiko Podcasts

Last week, host Alex Tsakiris interviewed well-known radio host and program director for the Center for Inquiry, D.J. Grothe about his experiences advancing scientific naturalism.

This week's interview is with physics researcher, independent scholar and associate editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Dr. Jean Burns, about her experiences on the front lines of the 'psi wars'.

Rhine Research Center Lecture

Roger Nelson, Ph.D.
Retired Coordinator of Research at Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab


The Global Consciousness Project:
Meaningful Patterns in Random Data

Dr. Nelson will discuss the Global Consciousness Project (GCP) which he founded in 1997 during his more than 20 years at the PEAR lab at Princeton University.. Dr. Nelson’s broad interests in psychology, physics, philosophy, and the arts have generated opportunities to collaborate with creative interdisciplinary teams at PEAR and elsewhere, developing technologies for studying consciousness and intention. He has a strong interest in the theoretical, philosophical, and practical implications of direct interactions of mind and matter, which help to define the role of consciousness in the world

In 1993, building on years of laboratory experiments, Dr. Nelson began using random event generator technology in the field to register correlations of data with special states of group consciousness. This work led to the world-spanning GCP network, designed to look for indications of a global consciousness responding to major world events like destructive earthquakes, the beginnings of war or terror attacks like 9/11, as well as worldwide holidays and celebrations like New Year. After several years of purely scientific focus, with careful research yielding increasingly persuasive evidence, Dr. Nelson has begun to make public presentations about the GCP. The findings imply that we can be creative participants in determining our future, and that we have the capacity and responsibility for conscious evolution. Dr. Nelson is the upcoming president of the international Parapsychology Association.

For further information on GCP check, go to Media and Information for links to publicity pieces and articles, including interviews, articles, and short expositions such as a "One Page Summary" at

$20 General Admission, $15 for Rhine Member, Student, and Senior.

To Register: Call 919-309-4600, ext. 201 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

When: Friday, April 27th, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Where: The Stedman Auditorium on the Duke Center for Living Campus. CLICK HERE for directions to the Stedman Auditorium.
Registration Fee: $20 - $15 Students, Seniors & Members
To Register: Call 919-309-4600, ext. 201 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.