Annual Gathering 20241

Annual Gathering 2024: Reconfiguring Science and Spirituality

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Fri - Sun, 12 - 14 July 2024
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  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Fri - Sun, 12 - 14 July 2024


  • Robert Holden
    Robert Holden
    Author, Radio Host

    Robert Holden’s innovative work on psychology and spirituality has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, a PBS special Shift Happens! and in two major BBC-TV documentaries on happiness. He has presented two hugely popular TED Talks, and is the author of 14 best-selling books including Happiness NOW!, Shift Happens!, Authentic Success, Loveability, and Life Loves You (co-written with Louise Hay).

  • Bernard Beitman
    Bernard Beitman

    Bernard Beitman, MD,  is the author or editor of seven psychiatry books, recipient of two national psychiatry awards for his psychotherapy training program, and former chair of psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the Founding Director and President of The Coincidence Project. His first coincidence book, Connecting with Coincidence (2016) was followed by a second, Meaningful Coincidences: How and Why Synchronicity and Serendipity Happen (2022). He is working on a coincidence autobiography.

  • Paul Kieniewicz
    Paul Kieniewicz
    Vice-Chairman of the SMN

    Paul Kieniewicz was born in Scotland, and holds degrees in Astronomy and Geophysics. He is Vice-Chairman of the Scientific and Medical Network. More recently he lives in Poland, where he lectures and writes on Gnosticism, translating Gnostic texts into Polish. He is the author of science fiction novels, Immortality Machine and Gaia’s Children, and co-author (With Andrew Glazewski) of Harmony of the Universe and The Cosmic View.

  • John Hands
    John Hands

    John Hands was trained in science, specializing in chemistry, at the University of London.  He co-authored two research studies and also published one book in the social sciences.  He tutored in physics for Britain’s Open University, was visiting lecturer at the University of North London and then RLF Fellow at University College London where he began more than 10 years writing the award-winning COSMOSAPIENS Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe.  He spent a further six years writing its sequel  THE FUTURE OF HUMANKIND Why We Should Be Optimistic, which was published in 2023.  He has also written three novels and has been published in 12 countries.

  • Steve Taylor
    Steve Taylor
    Psychologist, Researcher, Speaker, Author

    Steve Taylor, PhD is the author of many best-selling books on psychology and spirituality including Extraordinary Awakenings, The Leap, and Spiritual Science. His books have been published in 20 languages, and Eckhart Tolle has described his work as ‘an important contribution to the shift in consciousness which is happening on our planet at present.’ He is a senior lecturer and researcher in psychology at Leeds Beckett University and past chair of the BPS Transpersonal Psychology Section.

  • David Lorimer
    David Lorimer
    Writer, Lecturer, Poet, Editor

    David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA is a visionary polymath – writer, lecturer, poet and editor who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network  and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society. David is also the Editor of Paradigm Explorer, and Chair of the Galileo Commission, which seeks the expand the evidence base of science of consciousness beyond a materialistic world view.

    Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, including Survival? Death as Transition (1984,2017) Resonant Mind (originally Whole in One) (1990/2017), The Spirit of Science (1998), Thinking Beyond the Brain (2001), The Protein Crunch (with Jason Drew) and A New Renaissance (edited with Oliver Robinson). He has edited three books about the Bulgarian sage Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov): Prophet for our Times (1991, 2015), The Circle of Sacred Dance, and Gems of Love, which is a translation of his prayers and formulas into English. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales – Radical Prince (2003) – has been translated into Dutch, Spanish and French. His most recent books are A Quest for Wisdom and his collection of poems, Better Light a Candle.

  • Vasileios Basios
    Vasileios Basios
    Physicist, Senior researcher

    Dr Vasileios Basios is a physicist, conducting interdisciplinary research on the foundations of complexity science and nonlinear systems, self-organization and complex matter. During his formative years, he was tutored by Ilya Prigogine (Nobel Laureate) at the Solvay Institutes in ULB and by Emilios Bouratinos on meditation and philosophy. He is interested in the complex interface between action and information and the history of ideas in science and their role in the transformation of science beyond the prevailing naïve materialistic reductionistic world-view. With others from PEAR Lab, he initiated the Mind-Matter-Mapping Project and has since published essays for ICRL where he now serves as a Trustee. He is a member of the Board of the Scientific and Medical Network and the Steering Team of the Galileo Commission.

  • Bernard Carr
    Bernard Carr
    Emeritus Professor, SMN President

    Prof Bernard Carr is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. For his PhD, he studied the first second of the universe with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University and Caltech. His professional area of research is cosmology and astrophysics and includes such topics as the early universe, black holes, dark matter, and the anthropic principle. He is a former chairman and current President of the Scientific and Medical Network and a former President of the Society for Psychical Research.

  • Annine van der Meer
    Annine van der Meer
    Historian, Author

    Dr Annine E.G. van der Meer (1953) is a Dutch historian of religion who holds a PhD in theology from the University of Utrecht. She wrote her doctoral thesis under the guidance of the late Prof Dr Gilles Quispel.

    Annine has written several authoritative books about the hidden history of the sacred feminine and of women and their forgotten contribution to evolution and civilization. This involves digging Her-Story out from under His-Story in order to write Our-Story. She is the author of 19 books in Dutch, English, French and German, including The Black Madonna from Primal to Final Times. In 2021, she published a very successful Dutch book, Maria Magdalena Ontsluierd (Mary Magdalene Unveiled), a commentary about The Gospel of the Beloved Companion, written by Mary Magdalene herself, only released in 2010. In 2023, she published the English translation and updated book, Mary Magdalene Unveiled: Hidden sources restore her broken image.

  • Predrag Slijepcevic
    Predrag Slijepcevic
    Bioscientist, philosopher

    Predrag Slijepcevic is a bio-scientist and philosopher of biology with over 30 years of experience at the universities of Cambridge, St Andrews, Leiden, and Brunel. Predrag’s primary research interest is the biology of telomeres, or physical ends of chromosomes, that regulate the ageing processes and contribute to some diseases. In parallel, Predrag investigates how biological systems, from bacteria to animals and beyond, perceive and process environmental stimuli (biological information) and how this processing, a form of natural learning, affects the organism-environment interactions. Predrag has published widely in leading scientific journals, including NatureBiocivilisations: A New Look at the Science of Life (Chelsea Green) is his first book in English.

  • Evelyn Elsaesser
    Evelyn Elsaesser
    Independent researcher

    Evelyn Elsaesser is an independent researcher and author in the field of death-related experiences, notably After-Death Communications (ADCs) and Near-Death Experiences (NDEs). She is the project leader of the long-term international research project “Investigation of the Phenomenology and Impact of Spontaneous After-Death Communications”, as well as a founding and current member of the Board of Swiss IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies). She lives in Switzerland. Her most recent book is Spontaneous Contacts with the Deceased.

  • Oliver Lazar
    Oliver Lazar

    Oliver Lazar is a medical doctor and professor of computer science. He obtained his doctorate of medicine in 2008 with his dissertation on “Effects on the sympathetic nervous system with combination therapies in the treatment of patients with high blood pressure” in the Department of Nephrology at the University Hospital Essen. He headed the IT department of the general public hospital in Zell am See/Austria and gained in-depth experience in applied research through various research projects as a scientist and project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS) in Duisburg. He has been professor of computer science at the FOM University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf since 2012. He is the author of Beyond Matter.

  • Mona Sobhani
    Mona Sobhani
    Cognitive neuroscientist, author, and entrepreneur

    Mona Sobhani, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist, author, and entrepreneur. A former research scientist at the University of Southern California, she holds a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Southern California and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University with the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project. She is the author of Proof of Spiritual Phenomena: A Neuroscientist’s Discovery of the Ineffable Mysteries of the Universe (Park City Press/Inner Traditions), which details her transformation from a diehard scientific materialist to an open-minded spiritual seeker. In the Brave New World of Psychedelic Science substack, she writes about the psychedelic renaissance, altered states of consciousness, and the transpersonal. She is co-founder of Exploring Consciousness, a community of curious scientists who are seeking to understand consciousness, spirituality, and the nature of our reality.