ICRL regularly receives numerous inquiries from seriously motivated young scholars and others who are challenged to explore the role of consciousness in physical reality and are seeking guidance on how to proceed with their quest. In response, we have established an outreach program to offer pertinent intellectual background, provide other useful resources, stimulate new scientific initiatives, and encourage pragmatic applications of consciousness-related physical phenomena. A few of these components have already been implemented, some are now under development, and others are still in planning stages awaiting the necessary resources to address them:
Webinar Series for Filters
In November 2011 ICRL launched a webinar series of online discussions with authors of the book, Filters and Reflections: Perspectives on Reality. Each webinar episode offers an opportunity for researchers in the field of consciousness studies to present their unique perspective on the theme of how consciousness constructs its reality by ordering the information it derives from the external world through an array of physiological, psychological, and cultural filters. Participants are encouraged to engage with questions and comments. Click here to visit the webinar page, see the series details, and learn more to register for the next episode.
The body of experimental studies and theoretical models generated by the PEAR laboratory over its 28-year university history provides a viable platform for such an outreach program. Over fifty articles and technical reports are available on the PEAR website that describe various aspects of the laboratory’s empirical results, conceptual and analytical models, and philosophical implications. For those unfamiliar with the PEAR heritage, we recommend the books Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World, originally published in 1986 by Harcourt, Inc. and now re-issued by The ICRL Press, and Consciousness and the Source of Reality: The PEAR Odyssey, published in 2011 by The ICRL Press. The article titled “The PEAR Proposition“ and the DVD/CD set by the same name also provide comprehensive overviews of the program.
Academies Consciousness Studies
ICRL has convened several Academies of Consciousness Studies that have assembled select groups of talented young scholars together with more experienced senior researchers for intensive face-to-face discussions, planning, and community building. The first of these was held at Princeton University in 1994, and is described in an article published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration titled “Report on the 1994 Academy of Consciousness Studies.” Three other convocations were held in Princeton in 2003, 2006, and 2010, and a shorter 3-day gathering took place in Røros, Norway, in August 2007. From each of these has emerged an array of new research ideas, communication networks, and assorted publications. For example, the 1994 meeting resulted in a book of essays titled “Intuition: The Inside Story“ (R. Davis-Floyd and P. Sven Arvidson, eds., New York and London: Routledge, 1997). Future gatherings of this type are being planned, some interdisciplinary and others focusing on specific themes. In addition to these academies, members of the ICRL community frequently hold small regional meetings to maintain collegial communications and to explore new collaborative activities.
The first course that we have developed, “Consciousness and the Physical World” is based on the work of the PEAR lab and is dedicated to the development of collaborative resources for teaching and learning about consciousness. This course material is freely available, in order to provide a concise introduction to the research of the PEAR lab and foundational research of the emerging Science of the Subjective.
The course is organized for students unfamiliar with these topics, but also contains much detailed material and links to current research that an advanced student may also find of value. Like a university course, it assumes a certain level of background education and some understanding of the scientific method and statistical analysis.
Young Investigators Program
ICRL works closely with the Young Investigators Program of the Society for Scientific Exploration, which offers information and resources pertaining to the scholarly study of anomalous phenomena and other frontier areas of science that are not currently addressed by traditional academic programs and professional forums. This website provides information about available academic programs or online courses of study; institutions offering relevant degree programs; symposia or conferences of potential interest; links to a wide range of useful online resources; and SSE-sponsored student internships and independent research projects.
ICRL maintains its own publishing imprint, the ICRL Press. Established in 2009, it has already published seven books, which are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Google Books. Four additional titles are presently in preparation.
Health & Biophysics
A special issue of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing (May/June 2007, Vol. 3, No. 3) contains an anthology of PEAR publications relevant to the subject of health, with an insightful introduction by Dr. Larry Dossey.
ICRL sustains collaborations with several groups conducting research in the field of biophotonics, and with psychologists and psychoanalysts exploring the role of anomalous interaction in therapeutic environments.
Project Hessdalen conducts an annual Science Camp in Norway to enhance interest in math and physics among young people by involving them in field investigations of anomalous Earth Lights.
Projects still in the planning stages include:
- Preparation of a comprehensive “mapping” project to provide a wide-ranging assortment of research articles, journals, conference proceedings, and other resources that address the study of consciousness, which will eventually be available through the ICRL website.
- Implementation of topic-specific electronic forums or discussion groups.
- Creation of a book for young children, illustrating the essential nature of open scientific inquiry, the dialogue between experiment and theory, and the role of humility in the face of uncertainty. This will be a science book that offers no “correct answers,” but only suggestions on how to formulate and pursue questions and projects in a productive systematic manner.
All of ICRL’s activities are financed by philanthropic contributions from visionary individuals and organizations. We would welcome your tax-deductible donation in support of our overall educational objective, or of any of the specific enterprises described above. If you would like to contribute, please visit our Support page, or contact us directly.