Next week, at Greenwich University in London, I’ll be attending the combined 39th Annual Conference of the Society for Psychical Research, and the 58th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association. There is a really full programme with several papers I’m particularly looking forward to. On Thursday, Dick Bierman will be presenting a paper entitled ‘Can results in experimental parapsychology be accounted for by questionable research practices?’. Bierman and colleagues use genetic algorithms to model QRPs in parapsychology. Also on Thursday, my dear friend Deborah Delanoy will present her PA Award address, on Bob Morris and the Koestler Chair. On the same theme, Thursday evening I’m looking forward to hosting a reception to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit. On Friday, I’ll be presenting one of my Perrott-Warrick studies with Milan Valasek testing the dream precognition hypothesis, and Honorary KPU member Thomas Rabeyron will be presenting on Anomalous experiences, mental health, creativity, and psi. The day ends with Jim Carpenter’s Presidential Address, on why psi is not a psychological anomaly.
On Saturday, for the first time in my experience of PA and SPR meetings, there will be parallel sessions. The program chairs have had to do this to accommodate the large number of accepted papers. It’s going to be difficult to choose, but George Williams’ presentation ‘Are different standards warranted to evaluate psi?’ sounds intriguing. The Banquet address on Saturday will be given by Les Lancaster, who is Chair of the Transpersonal Psychology section of the British Psychological Society. He’ll be speaking on taboo when venturing beyond physicalism. And on Sunday, I’m particularly looking forward to Walter von Lucadou presenting on the repeatability problem in parapsychology and how the correlation matrix method might help.
When held separately, the PA and the SPR conferences feel different, with more emphasis on spontaneous cases and survival at the SPR, and more on experimental parapsychology at the PA. There should be something for everyone at the joint meeting. Hope to see you there! Click here for the draft programme and more information on attending. Now I’d better get back to preparing my presentation!