James E. Alcock, PhD, is professor emeritus of psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a fellow and member of the executive council of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is author of Parapsychology: Science or Magic, Science and Supernature: A Critical Appraisal of Parapsychology, and Belief: What It Means To Believe and Why Our Convictions Are So Compelling. He is also coauthor of An Introduction to Social Psychology.
Here he describes the history of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly known as CSICOP) as an effort to counter the perceived “rising tide of superstition” in modern culture. He distinguishes between scientific parapsychology and various occult claims — while acknowledging that not all skeptics will do so. He voices his criticisms of various approaches to parapsychology research and offers his support for well-designed research in parapsychology.
(Recorded on February 4, 2019)
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Published on February 7, 2019