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Federico Faggin is co-inventor of the microprocessor, inventor of the touchpad, physicist, engineer and entrepreneur. Here he discusses his long relationship with spirituality, consciousness, quantum physics, mathematics... and calls for science to more broadly embrace consciousness as fundamental. Through the Faggin Foundation he directly supports the scientific study of consciousness at US universities and research institutes.

Online Course

Rupert Sheldrake’s scientific curiosity is drawn to areas of research where very little is known, but which have the potential for opening up whole new fields of enquiry. Questions that are neglected because they do not fit in with the prevailing orthodoxies are often the most fruitful, because they open hidden doorways into new realms of the sciences.

Taken together they can lead us into a more holistic, interconnected vision of nature. In this series of talks Rupert discusses six open questions that have occupied and preoccupied him for many years, and suggests how they could be answered by new experiments, most of which are inexpensive. Some could be student or citizen science projects, and all could help overcome the ‘innovation deficit’ within scientific institutions.

The rate of innovation has slowed down in recent decades, despite ever-increasing levels of funding. These talks point towards breakthoughs. After the series has ended, Rupert will be happy to discuss possible experiments with individuals or groups interested in doing or funding them. The first of these talks, on bird navigation and homing pigeons, was a keynote lecture at the Orkney International Science Festival in September, 2022. The others are completely new.

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The 2023 BICS Challenge

After a massive international response judged by a panel of outstanding experts, the 2021 Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) essay contest established that there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt for the survival of consciousness after permanent physical death. Building on that success, the 2023 BICS Challenge will fund research into contact and communication with post-mortem or discarnate consciousness leading to the reception of higher order information of benefit to humankind with the allocation of a grand total of up to $1 million in grants.

Up to $50,000 will be awarded to 12 projects and up to $100,000 will be awarded to a further 4 projects, exclusively in the field of the survival of consciousness after death. (BICS reserves the right to determine the value of each project and the final amount awarded.)

Spiritual Awakenings cover

A new book edited by Marjorie Woollacott and David Lorimer

The 57 essays in this volume are a wonderful and varied collection of personal insights into individual spiritual awakenings and the resulting transformation in the lives of scientists and academics. Scholars write about the experience of their own spiritual awakening and journey, including encountering challenges to their credibility in academia, if they shared these experiences. Their comments about transformation in values, beliefs, and approaches toward life are very moving, expressing a deep inner wisdom and connection, not only with humanity, but with the earth and cosmos.

The authors in this volume have shown the courage to ‘come out’ with a spiritual understanding of life based on their own experiences despite the taboo against this in academia dominated by materialist philosophies of consciousness and reality.

They share the views of the great pioneering physicists such as Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Sir James Jeans, Arthur Eddington, Louis de Broglie, Erwin Schroedinger and David Bohm that consciousness is fundamental – even primary – in our universe.

Moon balloon

A fascinating review paper on studies of dream recall as we age, published in the journal Nature and Science of Sleep. Written by Anastasia Mangiaruga, Serena Scarpelli, Chiara Bartolacci, and Luigi De Gennaro of the Department of Psychology, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Rome, Italy.

Spotlight on dream recall: the ages of dreams


Brain and sleep maturation covary across different stages of life. At the same time, dream generation and dream recall are intrinsically dependent on the development of neural systems. The aim of this paper is to review the existing studies about dreaming in infancy, adulthood, and the elderly stage of life, assessing whether dream mentation may reflect changes of the underlying cerebral activity and cognitive processes.

It should be mentioned that some evidence from childhood investigations, albeit still weak and contrasting, revealed a certain correlation between cognitive skills and specific features of dream reports. In this respect, infantile amnesia, confabulatory reports, dream-reality discerning, and limitation in language production and emotional comprehension should be considered as important confounding factors. Differently, growing evidence in adults suggests that the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the encoding and retrieval of episodic memories may remain the same across different states of consciousness. More directly, some studies on adults point to shared neural mechanisms between waking cognition and corresponding dream features.

A general decline in the dream recall frequency is commonly reported in the elderly, and it is explained in terms of a diminished interest in dreaming and in its emotional salience. Although empirical evidence is not yet available, an alternative hypothesis associates this reduction to an age-related cognitive decline. The state of the art of the existing knowledge is partially due to the variety of methods used to investigate dream experience.

Very few studies in elderly and no investigations in childhood have been performed to understand whether dream recall is related to specific electrophysiological pattern at different ages. Most of all, the lack of longitudinal psychophysiological studies seems to be the main issue. As a main message, we suggest that future longitudinal studies should collect dream reports upon awakening from different sleep states and include neurobiological measures with cognitive performances.

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AAPS logo

The Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences has created a Graduate Student Research Award Competition to support those interested in researching consciousness and its applications to health care and other related topics.

The award is up to $1,000 per student, with $500 awarded to the University to be spent on the student’s research project at the onset, and an additional $500 awarded directly to the student if the project is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Proposals for a graduate-level research project are due each calendar year by September 1 from Student members of AAPS. Results of the submission reviews will be available October 1, and the Award will start on November 15. The award is for a possible total of $1000, with $500 awarded to the University to be spent on the student’s research project at the onset and an additional $500 awarded directly to the student if the project is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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With the aim of encouraging research into the healthy human being, both from the physical and spiritual point of view, BIAL Foundation now opens a new call of its Grants Programme for Scientific Research 2022/2023.

Supported fields: Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.

Addressees: Scientific researchers, either individually or in groups.

Duration/commencement: Maximum 3 years; commencement between 1st of January and 31st of October 2023.

Total amount: Up to €60.000 per approved application.

Applications: No later than 31st of August 2022.

The following projects will not be considered eligible: a) Projects from Clinical or Experimental Models of Human Disease and Therapy; b) Projects whose main scope is eating behaviour, sexual behaviour, physical exercise or fundamental neuroscience.

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Prof. Brian Josephson

Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Nobel Laureate in Physics

In a talk in his BBC Radio 4 series ‘Think with Pinker’, Steven Pinker asked ‘why do so many of us believe in so much quackery and flapdoodle?’, characterising extrasensory perception as ‘paranormal woowoo’. I can imagine such language slipping out in the course of casual conversation, but on the BBC, in a programme where the text must have been carefully thought out in advance?

Something must have led to this being said in such an uncritical manner, so I thought I’d email Pinker to find out what had led him to speak in this way in regard to the paranormal. In response he came up with two arguments. The first has, at first sight, a degree of plausibility, and is the following: if there really are people with the claimed paranormal abilities, they could use these to win consistently at betting, and we would learn about that. However (as described in a recent Guardian article) it seems this does not happen, because when such people start to win significant sums of money the bookies take note, responding to the threat that they pose by imposing limits on how much they are allowed to bet. As a result, we cannot safely infer that there are no people who can use their paranormal abilities to win large amounts at betting.

The Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies

The Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies was founded in 2020 to raise awareness of—and encourage research into—the survival of consciousness after death. To that end, the institute ran an essay contest on this topic, throwing down a whopping $1.8M to the 29 winners.

Considering the historic dearth in funding for consciousness and parapsychology research, they certainly have our attention. We should all loudly applaud this rare offering, and look forward to whatever else BICS and founder Robert Bigelow have in store.

Winning first prize, with an award of $500,000, is the essay 'Beyond the Brain: The Survival of Human Consciousness After Permanent Bodily Death', by Dr Jeffrey Mishlove of Thinking Allowed fame. Second prize went to NDE researcher, author, and manifesto signatory Dr Pim van Lommel for his essay 'The Continuity of Consciousness: A concept based on scientific research on near-death experiences during cardiac arrest', for which he received $300,000. And the third place prize of $150,000 went to historian Dr Leo Ruickbie for 'The Ghost in the Time Machine'. Ten others received $50,000 and a further fifeteen $20,000. Winners include noted scientists such as Julie Beischel PhD, Stephen E Braude PhD, Bernardo Kastrup PhD, Dr Peter Fenwick and his team, and many others.

All essays are free to read on the BICS website. If you're at all wondering what evidence there is for the survival of consciousness, a treasure trove awaits you.

"We hope these essays collectively provide a valuable resource for researchers and members of the public for presenting the evidence for survival of human consciousness after bodily death."

The Biofield Research Fellowship Program

For researchers interested in exploring the science of subtle energy and biofield healing, the Biofield Research Fellowship Program is now seeking applications for a new grant/fellowship opportunity, which will provide six annual grants of up to $20,000 USD each, plus mentorship and community for emerging researchers across multiple disciplines.

Backed by a collaborative group of philanthropists and foundations called the Subtle Energy Collective (below), the Biofield Research Fellowship Program is funding rigorous examinations of biofield science with the goal of seeding a new generation of biofield researchers to advance the field and bolster its research base. In addition to grant funds, the Fellowship Program will provide Fellows with a collaborative community of emerging and established researchers and will pair each Fellow with a respected research mentor who has expertise relevant to their research. The findings derived from Fellows’ investigations will provide greater insight into biofield therapies and their applications for reducing suffering and promoting health and wellbeing.