Princeton's PEAR lab closing

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In summary, PEAR's founder, Robert G. Jahn, says that the laboratory will close after 28 years of studying ESP and telekinesis because there is no longer a viable long-term successor and most of the lab's funding evaporated.
  • #1

Ivan Seeking

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... Jahn’s general conclusions are that anomalous phenomena are real, can be studied scientifically in large data sets, and could be used in applications. He admitted that some of his faculty colleagues view the research with skepticism, and others have been completely dismissive. But he does not think that the engineering anomalies work affected his reputation as a distinguished researcher in electric and plasma propulsion. Princeton’s Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory, which Jahn started in 1961, remains at the vanguard of the field under the direction of one of Jahn’s former students, Edgar Choueiri *91, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

PEAR will not enjoy the same fate. International Consciousness Research Laboratories, a not-for-profit group associated with PEAR, supported research in recent years, but with no viable long-term successor and most of the lab’s funding evaporating, Jahn has decided to close the lab, with no regrets. “Without a doubt it has been the most personally stimulating and rewarding intellectual activity I’ve ever been involved in,” he said. “I feel very privileged for having been allowed to take a scholarly walk into this extraordinarily strange garden.”
http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/archive_new/PAW06-07/04-1108/notebook.html#Notebook8
 
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  • #2
Is this the end of the EGG project?
 
  • #3
A Princeton Lab on ESP Plans to Close Its Doors

A Princeton Lab on ESP Plans to Close Its Doors

PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 6 — Over almost three decades, a small laboratory at Princeton University managed to embarrass university administrators, outrage Nobel laureates, entice the support of philanthropists and make headlines around the world with its efforts to prove that thoughts can alter the course of events.

But at the end of the month, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory, or PEAR, will close, not because of controversy but because, its founder says, it is time.

The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university’s engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling.

“For 28 years, we’ve done what we wanted to do, and there’s no reason to stay and generate more of the same data,” said the laboratory’s founder, Robert G. Jahn, 76, former dean of Princeton’s engineering school and an emeritus professor. “If people don’t believe us after all the results we’ve produced, then they never will.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/10/science/10princeton.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Sad times...

[edit by Ivan: Threads merged]
 
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  • #4
“If people don’t believe us after all the results we’ve produced, then they never will.”

What a joke. :rofl:
 
  • #5
Yes, the PEAR team should go into the Ghostbusters business. Look how well that turned out in the movie. :rolleyes:
 
  • #6
Here another link:
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory will close after 28 years of studying ESP and telekinesis, research that embarrassed university officials and outraged the scientific community.
http://www.physorg.com/news90408273.html [Broken]

I don't understand why people would be embarrassed and outraged over this kind of research.
Is it just dogmatism or something else?
 
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  • #7
PIT2 said:
Here another link:


I don't understand why people would be embarrassed and outraged over this kind of research.
Is it just dogmatism or something else?

Simple. They've had their shot (more than most researchers in this field ever get), and they've gotten next to nothing. Two to three flips in ten thousand trials? You have got to be kidding me. I wonder if they've had a competent statistician vet their data at all.

Enough's enough. If there's a private loon crazy enough to continue funding this sort of thing, then so be it, but now that there isn't, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
 
  • #8
Curious3141 said:
Simple. They've had their shot (more than most researchers in this field ever get), and they've gotten next to nothing. Two to three flips in ten thousand trials? You have got to be kidding me. I wonder if they've had a competent statistician vet their data at all.
Odd... their conclusion is the opposite to what u claim: that they did find something. And even if they didnt, this still doesn't explain why it embarrasses and outrages people.

Enough's enough. If there's a private loon crazy enough to continue funding this sort of thing, then so be it, but now that there isn't, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
U mention loons and crazyness, so the question i asked in my previous post seems to apply to u. Why does this research embarrass/outrage u?
 
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  • #9
So I gather there were no conclusive results from their big bang experiment?
 
  • #10
D H said:
So I gather there were no conclusive results from their big bang experiment?
What big bang experiment?

U can read about results on their website:
http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/
 
  • #11
PIT2 said:
What big bang experiment?

This one: http://www.globalorgasm.org" [Broken]. Not so much their experiment, but an experiment designed to register on NEAR's EGGs:

We hope that a huge influx of physical, mental and spiritual energy with conscious peaceful intent will not only show up on Princeton’s REGs, but will have profound positive effects that will change the violent state of the human world.
 
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  • #13
Sorry, I get all that woo-woo stuff at Princeton (PRINCETON?) confused.
 
  • #14
D H said:
Sorry, I get all that woo-woo stuff at Princeton (PRINCETON?) confused.
Princeton didn't fund any of the research, the money was all private donations.

"The laboratory has long had a strained relationship with the university. Many scientists have been openly dismissive of it.

“It’s been an embarrassment to science, and I think an embarrassment for Princeton,” said Robert L. Park, a University of Maryland physicist who is the author of “Voodoo Science: The Road From Foolishness to Fraud.” “Science has a substantial amount of credibility, but this is the kind of thing that squanders it.”
 
  • #15
The EGG project sounded interesting, but I don't know if they actually had significant results as is claimed or if this was just a biased interpretation.

No matter the results, as long as the experiments done over the years were reported accurately and the results available for all to scrutinize, then I think they did a service to science. Dishonesty would be the only real sin here.
 
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  • #16
Evo said:
Princeton didn't fund any of the research, the money was all private donations.

That is no excuse. I would hope Princeton would not accept any amount of money to fund something incredibly hideous, say the Holocaust Fiction Institute, or incredibly stupid, such as the Hollow Earth Research Center.

“It’s been an embarrassment to science, and I think an embarrassment for Princeton,” said Robert L. Park

Park nailed it. This is not worthy of a supposedly top-tier school. There is a difference between being open-minded and empty-headed. This woo-woo stuff crosses the line.
 
  • #17
There is a difference between being open-minded and empty-headed. This woo-woo stuff crosses the line.

So you are saying that we should only investigate that which you consider to be real? How exactly do you identify the woo-woo line?
 
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  • #18
Ivan Seeking said:
How exactly do you identify the woo-woo line?
Easy, by investigating.

Oh wait, as soon as u investigate, ur a loon...
And if u find evidence for something, then its really evidence against it, because ur a loon.
 
  • #19
PIT2 said:
Odd... their conclusion is the opposite to what u claim: that they did find something.

Based on what they said (that two to three flips/10,000 thing), they found next to nothing, if that. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.

And even if they didnt, this still doesn't explain why it embarrasses and outrages people.

It doesn't. Neither their existence nor their closing their doors outrages me. That's why I said that if there was somebody who wanted to continue funding them, "so be it".

U mention loons and crazyness, so the question i asked in my previous post seems to apply to u. Why does this research embarrass/outrage u?

Ah, I consider rich people who throw good money after bad to be loons. PEAR is definitely a black hole for research funds, seeing as they had very little compelling data after nearly thirty years of study.

But nothing about PEAR either embarassed or outraged me. Stop putting words into my mouth.
 
  • #20
PIT2 said:
Easy, by investigating.

I'd say they've had more than their fair shot. Wouldn't you? :rolleyes:

But I could be way off base in my assessments. Please tell us what you find compelling about their data, and why there's really any point to their continuing the same line of inquiry.
 
  • #21
Curious3141 said:
But I could be way off base in my assessments. Please tell us what you find compelling about their data, and why there's really any point to their continuing the same line of inquiry.
Go read the publications on their website.

http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/publications.html
 
  • #22
Robert L. Park:... "Science has a substantial amount of credibility, but this is the kind of thing that squanders it."
Science would more likely lose credibility if it refused to investigate such possibilities, especially considering that a large percentage of america (and probably the world) believes in such things:

A recent Gallup poll revealed that 75% of Americans hold at least one paranormal belief, and a UK newspaper poll showed that 60% of Britons accept the existence of the paranormal, say the researchers.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2006/1791144.htm
 

What is the PEAR lab and why is it closing?

The PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research) lab was a research facility at Princeton University that studied the potential for human consciousness to influence physical systems. It is closing due to lack of funding and support from the university.

What were some of the major findings of the PEAR lab?

The PEAR lab published several controversial studies that suggested the existence of paranormal phenomena, such as telekinesis and precognition. However, these findings were not widely accepted by the scientific community due to methodological flaws and lack of reproducibility.

How long was the PEAR lab in operation?

The PEAR lab was in operation for 28 years, from 1979 to 2007. During this time, it received over $10 million in funding and published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals.

What impact did the PEAR lab have on the scientific community?

The PEAR lab sparked a great deal of controversy and debate within the scientific community. While some researchers were intrigued by the possibility of paranormal phenomena, others criticized the lab's methods and conclusions. Ultimately, the PEAR lab's findings did not have a significant impact on mainstream science.

Will the closure of the PEAR lab affect future research on consciousness and paranormal phenomena?

While the PEAR lab's closure may have a symbolic impact, it is unlikely to have a significant effect on future research in this area. Other universities and research institutions continue to study consciousness and related topics, using more rigorous methods and standards.

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