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

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