Was founded in 1973 by George Blaker, with the help of Dr. Patrick Shackleton, Sir Kelvin Spencer and Dr Peter Leggett (Vice-Chancellor of Surrey University), based on their collective desire to reconcile scientific investigation and scientific models of reality with the spiritual dimension of life, and so to open dialogue between scientists and spiritual luminaries of all backgrounds. The vision of the SMN founders was a profoundly holistic one: an organisation confined by no “fences of thought”, but instead open to insight from every kind of human enquiry.
The founders believed that neither orthodox religion nor conventional science were, in their current forms, sufficient to answer pressing questions about our existence and about the mysteries of the cosmos, and that new ways of thinking, and new interdisciplinary approaches were needed to build bridges and to search for new approaches. The Network was initially an invitation-only organisation, as it developed into its early form as a place for scientists and medics to debate and dialogue about questions and ideas that were considered taboo in orthodox departments, on issues such as non-local consciousness, alternative forms of healing, paranormal phenomena and mystical experience.
Although the idea of networks and networking is commonplace today, the Scientific and Medical Network was one of the first to use this term.
Network Members have been prominent in the seeding of other organisations such as the British Holistic Medical Association, the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group within the Royal College of Psychiatrists (now the largest SIG in the College), and the Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness and Experiential Psychology sections of the British Psychological Society.