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Can Science Accommodate Psychic Experience?

A lecture by Professor Bernard Carr

If psychic phenomena are real, it is natural to assume that they conform to natural laws rather than being supernatural, in which case they should be part of the domain of science. In particular, since many psychic phenomena seem to involve a direct interaction between mind and the physical world, this suggests that any theoretical framework for the subject requires some sort of extension of physics. This talk discusses whether physics, in either its present or some future form, will ever be able to accommodate psi or indeed any other type of mental experience. Although some phenomena which are labelled “psychic” may turn out to be explicable in terms of current physics, Bernard Carr will argue that most are not and that these will require a different physical paradigm from the ones that currently prevail. This is not too implausible since physics regularly undergoes paradigm shifts. The new paradigm must assign a central role to consciousness and there are already indications that this is a fundamental rather than incidental feature of the Universe. He will present his own view as to what form the new paradigm might take. This entails a radical reassessment of the divide between matter and mind, famously introduced by Descartes as a way of delineating the domain of science.

Bernard Carr is Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London. His professional area of research is cosmology and includes such topics as the early universe, black holes, dark matter and the anthropic principle. He has recently edited a book entitled Universe or Multiverse? His other academic interest is psychical research and he has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research for some 30 years, serving as its President in the period 2000-2004. His approach to the subject is mainly theoretical but he emphasizes its experiential as well as experimental aspects. He is particularly keen to extend physics to incorporate consciousness and associated mental and psychical.


Professor Bernard Carr | talks | www


Date and Time:

24 March 2009 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



Psychology Seminar Series, Goldsmiths' College
Richard Hoggart Building
New Cross
SE14 6NW
020 7919 7871

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Additional Information:

SEMINARS ARE FREE and there is no need to book in advance.

Talks are open to all.

They start at 6:10 PM IN ROOM 256, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths.

For further information, contact Chris French email: c.french@gold.ac.uk).

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