This Week in Parapsychology

laseracuLaser acupuncture meta-analysis. Edzard Ernst is Emeritus Prof of Alternative Medicine at University of Exeter, who claims in his memoirs (plausibly IMO) that he was forced into retirement by Prince Charles’s meddling. Ernst has just blogged about a recent meta-analysis showing laser acupuncture (using light not needles to stimulate acupoints) is effective beyond placebo. Ernst writes it’s ‘the meta-analysis I always wanted to conduct but never got round to doing’. There is almost as much debate about how to interpret acupuncture meta-analyses as there is about psi meta-analyses – perhaps illustrating the limitations of retrospective meta-analysis. Jim Kennedy has discussed these limitations (in the context of parapsychology) here. The acupuncture meta-analysis is here. And Ernst’s blogpost is here.

New PA book award. The Parapsychological Association has launched a new book award. Details here. Also, the PA’s annual awards nominations deadline is 31st March. More info here.

University-based online parapsychology course. There’s just over 1 month to go til the start of the University of Edinburgh’s next online parapsychology course, led by yours truly. I’ve had the pleasure of running this course since 2008. Seeking a balanced approach to a controversial topic, the course includes contributions from leading parapsychologists and skeptics. Participants come from around the world. There are still a couple of places left! Find out more here. And Carlos Alvarado and Nancy Zingrone are advertising a new course on OBEs, starting March 9th. More info on that here.

‘Brilliant, esoteric fun’ That’s how the Brighton Argus described my Science of the Paranormal workshop at last week’s Brighton Science Festival. Looking forward to future outings – watch this space for details. Argus review here.

WallaceAlfred Russel Wallace and spiritualism. The Natural History Museum has a fascinating online collection of Wallace’s letters demonstrating his enthusiastic involvement in spiritualism. To read them, click here. (Via @Sommer_HPS)

And finally…
Fairy trouble. Wayford Woods in Somerset have had to bring in fairy control, following a proliferation of fairy doors and other paraphernalia. Story and pics here.

About Caroline Watt

Prof Caroline Watt is a founder member of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit.
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