Ah, where to begin, where to begin...
We may as well begin with my last several posts in which have I have quoted F. David Peat extensively. Lo and behold, with just the sort of weird synchronicity that seems to be elusively present between "paranormal" blogs these days, what to my wondering eyes should appear but this bit of info found in an Orange Orb post in a comment from Bruce Duensing. Apparently, both Brian Josephson and F. David Peat have recently been "disinvited" from a Foundation of Physics workshop:
"Certain invitees to a workshop on the Foundations of Physics received from the organisers letters withdrawing their invitations. The letter to Brian Josephson asserted:"It has come to my attention that one of your principal research interests is the paranormal ... in my view, it would not be appropriate for someone with such research interests to attend a scientific conference."
While a similar letter to David Peat asserted:
"It has come to my attention that you are the author of books on Jungian synchronicity and quantum physics, and on connections between Native American Indian thought and modern physics ... in my view, it is not appropriate for an author of such books to attend a scientific conference."
April 26, 2010: A communication has now been sent by the organisers explaining the background to the letters, which seems to have had a strong political element though this was not asserted directly. It was suggested (and there is no doubt much truth in this) that those in control are so prejudiced against the paranormal that belief in the reality of telepathy, etc. can disqualify one for consideration for a job. It was, fundamentally, to protect young researchers looking for jobs that the disinvitation letters were sent.
Such attitudes are pervasive. Scientists who have reason to believe that telepathy is real dare not state this publicly, since this admission could have disastrous effects on their career path. For example my Ph.D. supervisor and head of the Cavendish at the time, the late Sir Brian Pippard, told me once privately that he was quite sure that telepathy existed as his mother always seemed to have accurate knowledge of what was happening to his brother who was fighting in World War I. But he did not tell of this publicly until well after his retirement, as after-dinner speaker at a parapsychology conference.
Orwell, in his book 1984, imagined a similar situation, in a totalitarian society where one could be charged (ref. Wikepedia) with thoughtcrime: In the book, the government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects, labelling disapproved thought as thoughtcrime.
Thoughtcrime is alive and well in the scientific community today, as the politics that underlies this affair clearly demonstrates."
- Brian Josephson, from "How to Run a Conference: closed-minded practices revealed"
Unfortunately, this is not an anomalous case within the mechanistic science regime. An interesting article on the subject - The Psi Taboo in Action - can be found on Dean Radin's Entangled Minds blog.
Similar unwarranted smear tactics have been used against Rupert Sheldrake, the scientist who dared propose Morphic Resonance. His case is particularly of importance to myself as his book, "The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature" was another one of my bibles of the 80's. More so, I once sent him a link to one of my own articles via email several years ago, and despite my having no credentials to speak of, he was still gracious enough to thank me.
Ever the optimist, Sheldrake writes:
"Here on Earth we are facing climate change, great economic uncertainty, and cuts in science funding. Confidence in materialism is draining away. Its leaders, like central bankers, keep printing promissory notes, but it has lost its credibility as the central dogma of science. Many scientists no longer want to be 100% invested in it.
Materialism's credit crunch changes everything. As science is liberated from this nineteenth-century ideology, new perspectives and possibilities will open up, not just for science, but for other areas of our culture that are dominated by materialism. And by giving up the pretence that the ultimate answers are already known, the sciences will be freer—and more fun."
- Rupert Sheldrake, "My Dangerous Idea"
Sadly, because of the unfortunate times in which live, his graciousness, perhaps, is something he knows now might be in his best interests to avoid. Below is an old news report, but I think it's place is here and now.