BA Science Festival, 2006
University of East Anglia

UEA Norwich Sept 2-9th 2006

On September 5, 2006, Rupert gave a presentation on telephone telepathy at the annual Science Festival of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science event in Europe. This was widely reported in the media, and in Britain The Times and other newspapers reported a controversy in which several well-known sceptics objected to the BA "lending credibility to maverick theories on the paranormal". For example, Prof Peter Atkins, a chemist at Oxford University, was quoted as saying, "There is absolutely no reason to suppose that telepathy is anything more than a charlatan's fantasy." See The Times report Theories of telepathy and afterlife cause uproar at top science forum.

However, The Times editorial writers took a different view, and an amusing third leader the same day was headed, "It goes without saying that telepathy works." See The Times editorial Brainstorm: It goes without saying that telepathy works.

The same afternoon, BBC Radio 5 Live brought Rupert together with Prof Atkins, live on air. You can read a transcript of the Atkins-Sheldrake discussion in which Prof Atkins admitted that he had not studied any of the evidence, and felt no need to do so.

The following day, The Times published Gosh, I was just thinking about you by Rupert, on their op-ed pages, and there were several letters on the subject, published under the heading Science resists the unknown.

At the BA Science Festival, Rupert took part in a discussion on research on unexplained phenomena mediated by Quentin Cooper, with Dr Peter Fenwick, Prof Deborah Delanoy, and Prof Chris French, editor of The Skeptic. This was broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 science programme, The Material World, on September 7, and can be heard online at The Material World.

On October 5th Rupert appeared in the ABC Radio National series In Conversation with Robyn Williams.

In the October/November edition of The Science Reporter , Ted Nield presents an excellent account of the goings-on at the Festival... Telepathy cuts down on phone bills