The paper describes nine unusual lab experiments performed over the past decade by its author, Daryl J. Bem, an emeritus professor at Cornell, testing the ability of college students to accurately sense random events, like whether a computer program will flash a photograph on the left or right side of its screen. The studies include more than 1,000 subjects. Some scientists say the report deserves to be published, in the name of open inquiry; others insist that its acceptance only accentuates fundamental flaws in the evaluation and peer review of research in the social sciences."Journal’s Paper on ESP Expected to Prompt Outrage" (NYT)
“It’s craziness, pure craziness. I can’t believe a major journal is allowing this work in,” Ray Hyman, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University Oregon and longtime critic of ESP research, said. “I think it’s just an embarrassment for the entire field.”
The editor of the journal, Charles Judd, a psychologist at the University of Colorado, said the paper went through the journal’s regular review process. “Four reviewers made comments on the manuscript,” he said, “and these are very trusted people.”
All four decided that the paper met the journal’s editorial standards, Dr. Judd added, even though “there was no mechanism by which we could understand the results.”
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.