OUPS Annual Conference – Parapsychology

Every year OUPS holds an applied psychology conference, inviting top psychologists to talk on a specific area of psychology to give delegates the opportunity to hear experts in the field present up to date research on a specific area of psychology and to provide a forum for informed discussion.

Our Annual Conference in 2019, for OU students and anyone with an interest in the subject, will be on ‘Parapsychology: exploring the science of the paranormal’. The conference will put research described as ‘paranormal’ under the microscope of critical scrutiny. Phenomena to be discussed include near-death experiences, poltergeists, and the veracity of readings by mediums. This will be presented to be of interest to both academics and lay persons.

Speakers

We have as speakers some very well-informed believers in the existence of the paranormal, together with some equally sharp sceptics.

Our currently confirmed speakers are:
  • David Luke (The University of Greenwich; author of ‘Other Worlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience’): ‘Psychedelics, psi and other exceptional human experiences’
  • Peter Naish (University of Sussex and The Open University): ‘Things that go bump in the night: revisiting old haunts’
  • Tricia Robertson (University of Glasgow; author of ‘Things you can do when you are Dead’): ‘Psychical research … The Cinderella Science’
  • Pim van Lommel (Cardiologist, Arnhem, The Netherlands; author of ‘Consciousness beyond life’): ‘Nonlocal consciousness: A concept based on scientific studies on the Near-Death Experience’
  • Callum Cooper (University of Northampton; author of ‘Telephone Calls from the Dead’): Parapsychology from Life to the Lab’
  • Chris Roe (University of Northampton; Director of the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Processes): ‘Psi as unconscious: Recent developments in experimental parapsychology’
  • Frederick Toates (Open University): ‘What is “para” about parapsychology ? Brains, Minds and Consciousness’
  • Dr Madeleine Castro (Leeds Beckett University): ‘Exploring the implications of a survey of reported paranormal experiences’
  • Professor Bernard Carr (Queen Mary University of London, former President of the Society of Psychical Research, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy): ‘Dreaming up a theory of psi’

What to expect

The lectures are conducted in management conference seminar rooms within the University campus, and you will be provided with a timetable of talks and lecture notes on arrival.

You can choose how you spend your time. If you book the residential package then you will have a very comfortable ensuite room in management conference facilities complete with bedding, towels, a hairdryer, coffee-making facilities and desk. Wifi is also included. The training centre has a small exercise room within the building and you also have complimentary access to the  gym and pool on campus, so if you do want to relax then there is the option to do so.

The cost is inclusive of all meals, including Friday night and Saturday night dinner. There are no extra costs involved (except for drinks at the bar!). As well as your room and all meals this includes refreshments at break times, extensive handouts which are only available to attendees, revision of key course material, advice on revision techniques and taking the exam, welcome drink on Friday night. Non residential places are available for a reduction, all meals are still included.

The welcome drinks and psychology book stall are both excellent places to meet other students. All students and staff wear name badges, so it is easy to find somebody to help if you have any questions. You can enjoy your meals with a group of students in the comfortable dining room. The food is fresh, healthy buffet style catering, and there is something to entice everyone.

Finally, whilst most students leave exhausted from the learning and socialising, they comment that it is such a worthwhile weekend, and we see many of them each year as they progress their studies!

Venue

The weekend takes place at Radcliffe Conference and Training Centre, University of Warwick. Both accommodation and lectures are located in the same building unless you have been informed otherwise.

Warwick is an award winning conference venue with excellent facilities. Access to the sports facilities, including the swimming pool, are included in the price. The university’s central location with excellent transport links makes it easily accessible from all over the UK and Europe. There is ample free car parking.

 

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Prof. Bernard Carr: Making Time for Matter and Mind

Although physics claims to be close to a “Theory of Everything”, there are two features of the Universe that are far from understood: time and consciousness. The problem with time is that its role is very different in relativity theory and quantum theory, so its status in any final theory is unclear. The problem with consciousness is that most physicists neglect it altogether, even though there are several indications from physics itself that consciousness is a fundamental rather than incidental feature of the Universe. Since a key feature of consciousness is the flow of time, these two problems are clearly connected. However, the relationship between physical time and psychological time is still not understood and poses a profound mystery. The resolution of this mystery may require a new psychophysical paradigm, in which consciousness interacts with the Universe on a hierarchy of levels, each associated with a different specious present. The implications of this picture for normal, paranormal and mystical states of consciousness will be discussed.