News News New Scientific Experiment Announced A call has gone out for mediums with at least five years’ experience to take part in an exciting new study in June and July 2019. Find details of how to participate below. It will take place in the science laboratory within the estate of the Arthur Findlay College, Essex. The college is based at Stansted Hall. We now have details from from Professor Chris Roe (pictured), the Director of the University of Northampton’s Centre for Psychology and Social Sciences. “When Arthur Findlay gifted Stansted Hall to the Spiritualists’ National Union in 1964, it was for the establishment of a college for the advancement of psychic science,” Prof Roe said. “While there have been some highly successful collaborations between scientists and mediums, the research and practitioner communities have not had much to do with each other in recent times.” Prof Roe added that six years ago, Minister David Bruton, President of the Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU), sought to rectify this by organising a science day at the Arthur Findlay Centre in Stafford, which was recently renamed the Barbanell Centre. A number of academics, including Prof Roe, were invited to give talks on the science of mediumship. “The event,” he said, “was very well attended. There was an enthusiastic response to the suggestion that researchers and mediums should work more closely together.” As a first step, Prof Roe, his team, David Bruton and SNU tutor Chris Connelly co-organised a science week at the Arthur Findlay College, during which “developing mediums were introduced to a range of methods that have been used to research mediumship. “They were given a chance to try the methods out for themselves, including interviews and surveys, experiments testing the survival hypothesis and studies that measure brain activity.” Prof Roe added: “These helped to show that not all scientists are preoccupied with debunking paranormal claims. “There is a growing number of scientists who see psychic claims and experiences as part of the normal range of healthy human experience and want to better understand them. “Ideally, learning something about the scientific method can help mediums gain a novel insight into their mediumship, which can help with their development. “The workshop also gave researchers a chance to better understand mediums’ experiences, so they can more accurately represent them when talking to academic colleagues.” A number of further workshops followed at the Arthur Findlay College and the Barbanell Centre. In an exciting development, the SNU’s National Executive Committee gave permission for loft space at Britten House, which is within the college’s grounds, to be converted into a dedicated science laboratory. Funding was provided by the Society for Psychical Research and Friends of Stansted Hall as well as donations from local groups, so that the laboratory could be decorated and furbished. “It is now fit for purpose, with its own dedicated EEG equipment and experimental rooms,” said Prof Roe. “The intention is for the laboratory to be made available to serious and suitably qualified researchers across the country on the understanding that they would submit their proposals to the SNU for approval.” To showcase the facilities, Prof Roe’s team plans to run a new experiment. It aims to confirm results obtained by a Californian research group that worked with a group of six mediums to produce evidence relating to specific deceased people. The information they gave was significantly more accurate than would be expected by chance. Prof Roe added: “They also reported on EEG data they collected which was able to show that brain activity when in contact with Spirit was significantly different from their brain activity when they were imagining a person and recalling someone from memory. “This helps argue against standard sceptical explanations that claim mediums are mistaking their own fertile imagination for spirit contact since neurologically the two experiences are objectively very different.” This is consistent with demonstrations that Prof Roe’s team have run, which gave “some very interesting results from mediums entering various forms of trance that clearly show they have shifted from a normal waking state of consciousness to something deeper.” The latest experiment “involves asking our volunteers to visit us at the college’s science laboratory. Sessions are run individually, but volunteers are welcome to bring someone with them. “The participant will be asked to wear an EEG cap, so we can take brain activity readings while they are engaged in a set of activities. “These include establishing a spirit link, but also imagining a person and recalling someone from memory. “They will be asked to attempt to contact specific deceased persons, and if they can establish a link they will be asked to provide information about them. “Participation is completely anonymous. The experiment is not intended to be a ‘test’ of any individual person’s ability. Rather, it allows us to see whether this is the right kind of method to bring mediumship into the laboratory” The researchers will be visiting the laboratory to run the experiments on June 3-5, July 14-16 and July 21-23. Participation will take about two-and-a-half hours. Prof Roe said that although it is not a requirement for those taking part to hold SNU awards, “for the current study we want to focus on mediums with at least five years’ experience. “Unfortunately, we are not able to cover any travel expenses, but will have tea, coffee and biscuits. Participants will also receive our sincere gratitude. “The results will be presented at academic conferences. We will also produce summaries for the SNU website and for Psychic News.” For further information, please e-mail Prof Roe at [email protected] (putting ‘mediumship experiment’ in the subject line). He will provide a full description of what participation will involve. Those who wish to take part can book a slot with him.