Thursday, September 15, 2011 9:41 AM
Parapsychological Association: Some Reflections
I am very happy to be the newly elected President of the PA, and hope that I will be able to make a difference in this role.
I joined the PA in 1987. I have been especially concerned to find ways to make the PA appear more attractive (and relevant) to younger parapsychologists and to those who consider themselves outsiders, but have an interest in parapsychology. My career to date reflects the value I place upon making parapsychology inclusive and accessible to the wider population, particularly to those who are able and enthusiastic about the subject, but find it difficult to get the support and guidance they need to transform an amateur passion into a possible career. My research strategy, with grants from the Bial Foundation, has been to use the money to give research opportunities to new people looking for an initial foothold in parapsychology and to introduce them to the wider community. My fields of interest are Ganzfed-psi research, clinical parapsychology, and psychometry research focusing on psychics’’’’ abilities, among others.
As parapsychology becomes more transdisciplinary than multidisciplinary, the need to communicate more effectively with scientists from other disciplines for planned, inter-laboratory collaboration becomes increasingly evident. Our research is being presented outside of the field (I publish a number of articles in a psychological journals) more than ever now and the potential relevance of our research outside of our discipline and its conceptual implications for science in general are being recognized. Our research can and should address and contribute to larger issues about consciousness, mind, and brain. It is time for us to become more visible as serious players in the broader domain of consciousness investigation by the alternative medicine community, the cognitive sciences, physics and other fields.
I would like to think that I have had some positive influence in the development of parapsychology in the Non-English countries (such as Italy, France, Portugal, and Latin American countries). Likewise new energies are being expended in Asia and Australia, and in Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere. Our last membership drive succeeded in raising membership by roughly 40% (and we hope to do it again soon). As a President, I would recommend that we put special effort forth inraising funds for our organization and encouraging new members to join at every level.