Edinburgh to delve deeper into paranormal phenomena

October 7, 2005

Edinburgh University is boosting its pioneering research into parapsychology with an advertisement in this week's Times Higher for three posts, including a chair, in its Koestler parapsychology unit.

The unit aims to carry out "systematic and responsible research" into anomalous occurrences, people's beliefs about such events and into instances where people seem to be able to communicate beyond established boundaries.

Researchers will investigate not only parapsychological phenomena but also other issues such as paranormal beliefs, misattribution and deception.

Computer facilities enable the researchers to undertake digital ganzfeld experiments. Volunteers take part in extrasensory perception or telepathy tests that involve no external sensory stimuli.

Edinburgh established a chair in parapsychology in 1984, endowed by the writer Arthur Koestler and his wife, Cynthia. Its first holder was Robert Morris, who held it from 1985 until his death last year. The chair was renamed in honour of Professor Morris, although the unit retains Koestler's name.

Edinburgh is also advertising a three-year fixed-term lectureship in psychology and a permanent readership or senior lectureship in psychology for academics to work in the parapsychology unit.

Next year, the university celebrates the centenary of formal teaching in psychology.

In a further jobs boost, Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences is advertising two lectureships in ethics and a lectureship in mind, reason and decision.

The university's child and adolescent health research unit is advertising four research posts, including one involving work on adolescent obesity.

Edinburgh's School of History and Classics is advertising a lectureship in international economic history.

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