This week we held our first research meeting of the semester. It was a chance to catch up on research news after the summer break. We were joined by visiting researcher, Graham Jamieson (pictured) of the University of New England, in Australia. Graham is working with Marios Kittenis and Ruxi Tivadar on a project funded by the Bial Foundation to do with EEG and hypnosis. They’re looking at whether there are EEG differences between high- and low-hypnotically susceptible individuals. Graham said their first study had obtained some really interesting findings – watch this space for news when these are published.
Peter Lamont’s sabbatical year has finished and he has taken on a new admin role within our school of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS): Undergraduate Director of Teaching. I was PPLS UG Dir for 3 years, and found that although it was a time-consuming task , it was rewarding to be able to help students who had run into difficulties, and also interesting to meet and collaborate with colleagues across the university. Pete was working on the concept of wonder over his sabbatical and he has just submitted a number of articles to different journals as a result. Once these are published I’ll let you know.
We welcomed Ana Flores (pictured) who became my PhD supervisee just this week (my student Milan Valasek graduated over the summer and has found a job as a statistician with the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh). Ana is from Portugal. She has a passionate interest in parapsychology, having taken University of Northampton’s Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness Studies MSc (supervised by Harald Walach), and also she’s worked with Dean Radin (they co-authored the 2009 Explore paper entitled Intuition through time: What does the seer see?). We’ll be looking at replication issues in parapsychology. Ana has been helping out at the KPU over the summer, especially in getting the materials together for the new KPU publication archive.
I also told the group my news, including that Unbelievable: The Science of the Paranormal had a very successful run at Edinburgh Fringe (in fact so far every performance I’ve given of Unbelievable has been over-subscribed). This shows the public is curious about parapsychology and the KPU. It’s on next at Midlothian Science Festival 6 Oct, and Dundee Science Festival 31st Oct. The September run of my online course opened this week (next run commences April 2016). In what remains of my own sabbatical year (which ends in December) I’ve got lots to do, including a couple of book chapters and articles, and I’m putting the final finishing touches to my book Parapsychology: A Beginner’s Guide, due to be published by Oneworld in 2016. Pete and I also contributed to a BBC Radio Scotland doc on parapsychology, due to be broadcast next week, 22nd September. Again, watch this space for more info.