Psi and Science

And here we arrive at the culmination of a semester of work–the completion of a capstone project!

(Found here: https://lauren1weiss.wixsite.com/capstone)

My capstone explores the intersection of psi (supposed parapsychological or psychic faculties or phenomena) and western science. I decided to approach this topic after reading Elizabeth Mayer’s Extraordinary Knowing. Through her book, Mayer highlights the incredible breadth of parapsychology research and the stunning data that is hidden deep within academic journals. With Mayer’s help, I came to recognize western science’s shunning of psi phenomena in the face of contrary, convincing data. My capstone asks questions such as, “Why are we ignoring rigorous and meticulous research into psi phenomena?” and “How do typical advocates or counter-advocates of psi express their beliefs? How do they interact with parapsychology data? Are we prizing dogma (specifically materialism) over experimental and experiential evidence?”

As a young scientist, this exploration is important to me. I don’t want to enter an industry that ignores data that challenges existing dogma–this practice is not what scientific inquiry is meant to breed. And as someone who has experienced psi, I’m also intensely curious about how these phenomena manifest. Are they tricks of the brain? Or is there some additional force that physics has not yet accounted for? Can we interact with matter and minds across time and space?

I approach all of these questions and more through my semester-spanning capstone–if you get a chance to peruse the site, I hope that you ask just as many questions of the material as I have.

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