Showing posts from April, 2010

Getting comfortable with stupidity

This is an excellent article describing why in science it is important to feel comfortable with one's stupidity (more like ignorance than stupidity ) . Non-scientists may not realize that most of the time in scientific research, especially research at the edge of the known -- which is where all the excitement is -- that we really don't know what we're doing. Those few things we think we do understand are taught in elementary college textbooks. Students who do well in school, meaning those who get all the right answers on tests based on those textbooks, come to believe that they fully grok the nature of reality. But what they are grokking is what we thought we knew 10 or 20 years ago, and oftentimes textbooks are behind the curve of knowledge the moment they are published. Professors can't admit this, of course, because then students can argue that the tests aren't fair. So academia glosses over the fact that getting comfortable with stupidity is an extremely importa

Closer to Truth

Here is a new set of video interviews that I did for this PBS show.

The Psi Taboo in Action

I have lectured and written about the scientific taboo that prohibits scientists from openly studying psi. One way this prejudice manifests is by being invited to give a lecture at a scientific conference, and then finding yourself disinvited after someone on the conference committee discovers that the invitee has an interest in parapsychology. The idea of psi is so troubling to this person that he or she (mostly he) insists that the committee cancel the invitation. One can imagine the hysterics that must accompany this request. This invite-disinvite sequence happened to me a few years ago, for a talk I was invited to give at the United Nations on the frontiers of consciousness. Someone chickened out when they discovered that I actually study this topic rather than think about it, and so I found myself disinvited. I discovered this only after asking the organizers several times for more details about the venue, conference dates and speaking schedule. Apparently no one thought it ne


The latest issue of the Society for Scientific Exploration 's (SSE) newsletter, EdgeScience , is now available for free downloading. I have been a member of the SSE for many years because it is one of those rare scientific organizations where anomalies are recognized as being key sources of major scientific breakthroughs, rather than errors that must be quietly swept under the rug. Conservative scientists shy away from things that go "bump in the lab;" SSE members chase after them.

Psi research at the University of Colorado

"Professor at University of Colorado’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering guides students through experiments demonstrating unexplainable psychic phenomena." This is an excellent podcast (one of many) on the site.