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Ideas Worth Suppressing: Psi Wars and TED's Worst Nightmare

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by Original art by Meryl Ann Butler for OpEdNews.com


On April 2nd, Ph.Ds, MDs, and other degreed and interested supporters of the Set Science Free Campaign, "A Global Alliance of Rational Scientists & Academics," will be participating in a protest rally at the TED Headquarters in NYC.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences that have included past presenters such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, and a selection of Nobel Prizewinners . Jill Bolte Taylor's stunning talkStroke of Insight has gotten over 14 million views. 

TED's catchy, well-known slogan is "ideas worth spreading."

The Set Science Free Campaign is protesting TED's policy of keeping their scientific board anonymous as well as their decision to remove scientist Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D's TEDx talk, The Science Delusion,  from TED's main page. Sheldrake's  talk inspired controversy because he questioned what he refers to as "materialistic assumptions" of modern science.  He argued that these assumptions should be questioned as part of the scientific process of determining if they're really true.


Rupert Sheldrake speaking at TEDx by www.sheldrake.org




April 2nd marks the one-year anniversary of TED's decision to remove Sheldrake as well as Graham Hancock's TEDx talk, on a similar topic.


Graham Hancock's censored TEDx talk by blog.ted.com


The Set Science Free Campaign has also organized two petitions on their website, one which can be signed by signatories with a PhD or MD degree, and the other which can be signed by any interested others. The campaign is a grassroots effort organized by concerned citizens who feel that scientific boards should not be anonymous, noting that "Science should be open to challenge and anonymous scientific boards must be exposed as a matter of scientific principle," and "It is our position that even if one disagrees with Sheldrake, he still has a right to be heard. It was disrespectful for TED to remove his talk without giving a valid reason."

The Setsciencefree.org website also notes, "Sheldrake challenged TED's "anonymous scientific board' to a public debate. TED refused, and additionally refuses to name the members of the "scientific board" that called for the removal of his talk. Legitimate scientific boards are not anonymous. Science is based on personal accountability and members of scientific boards and scientific journals must be public."


Rupert Sheldrake by Rupert Sheldrake


Sheldrake has been accused of "pseudoscience." However, his professional credentials are sobering. There are far too many to mention here, but the high points include: a double first class honors degree, Cambridge University, where he was awarded the University Botany Prize; he studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, as a Frank Knox Fellow; he received a Ph.D. in biochemistry, Cambridge University; as a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology; he is a Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and he has published over 80 papers in scientific journals, including Nature.

The Setsciencefree.org website asks, "How could one with such a pedigree be accused of pseudoscience? Perhaps this is "proof of Clay Shirky's assertion that 'institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.'"

Craig Weiler is the author of a 270-page book exploring this deep controversy: Psi Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet: The Story of a Wild and Vicious Science Controversy ... that Anyone Can Join!

Dr. Larry Dossey says, I have closely followed Craig Weiler's incisive writings on this subject. Craig gets it right from start to finish -- well, not "finish," because the controversy still rages. He understands the sociocultural and academic issues clearly and has the guts to say so in this excellent book.



by Book cover by Craig Weiler


Dossey has authored nine books and numerous articles, and is the former Executive Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the most widely subscribed-to journal in its field. He has lectured all over the world, including at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, the Mayo Clinic  and at the Universities of Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Texas, Florida, and Minnesota.  

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http://www.merylannbutler.com

Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)
 

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MAB. Glad to see you giving this issue press. I'll... by Robert McNary on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:33:19 AM
Thanks for your comments, Robert! I think we are a... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:28:06 AM
From nationofchange.org: http://bit.ly/OjF98K Be p... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 1:51:36 AM
Absolutely fantastic article. Really crystallizes ... by Greg Tamblyn on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:49:56 AM
Wow, sounds like you liked it! 😄 Thanks fo... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:38:09 AM
If Mr. Weiler, 'Didn't expect skeptics hell-bent ... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 3:45:21 AM
Thanks for your comment, Paul. I'm pretty sure Cr... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:49:21 AM
Impressed by the number of references but not what... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 11:57:50 AM
Hi Paul, In the beginning, before I did any resea... by Craig Weiler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:30:11 PM
Thank-you for doing this interview, Meryl!!! I'm ... by Tsara Shelton on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 11:41:43 AM
Wow how synchronistic, i got shivers!  Happy... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:22:40 PM
And to add to this, Merry and I will be interviewi... by Burl Hall on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:35:08 PM
Yes, with a VERY NEAR birthdate to your mom, comb... by Cynthia Piano on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 10:06:10 AM
In my college Advanced Psychology course, I conduc... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:03:52 PM
That was a decent try Scott. I'm a bit surprised ... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:28:14 PM
You might want to research Tom Campbell deeply, Sc... by Burl Hall on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:38:14 PM
Cool experiment, Scott!  Thanks for sharing... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:41:53 PM
I think maybe PSI research is at Phase 0 and alwa... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:00:31 AM
I've tweeted this question to Neil Degrass Tyson ... by Scott Baker on Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 1:38:30 AM
Maybe they dont understand the question. What doe... by Paul Easton on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 4:35:01 AM
A cosmologist would understand this.  If wide... by Scott Baker on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 8:43:07 AM
Hi Scott, I think it's great that you undertook l... by Craig Weiler on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 7:55:36 AM
Well, Wiki says: A ganzfeld experiment (from t... by Scott Baker on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 8:45:41 AM
Hi Scott, Wikipedia is a horrible source for any ... by Craig Weiler on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 1:57:07 PM
Great piece Meryl Ann.  For those interested,... by Burl Hall on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:32:27 PM
Thanks, Burl! They are a' changin' indeed! ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:13:06 PM
A good resource in this area is the work of Claud... by Paul Krumm on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 11:25:09 AM
thanks so much for these references,  Paul, i... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 4:59:18 PM
There are big things that could be at stake about ... by Suzanne Taylor on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:35:20 PM
You might say my dog is psychic, she knows when c... by molly cruz on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 5:07:20 PM
Good points, Molly, thanks for your comment! ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 5:15:37 PM
Molly you are right, Until physics has a place fo... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:05:48 AM
I attempted to do something like that in Book 2 of... by Scott Baker on Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 2:08:14 AM
Last year TED Talks banned the subject of GMOs and... by intotheabyss on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 7:56:42 PM
WOW, sounds like TED is getting funding from folks... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:30:26 PM
I certainly believe in paranormal phenomena, in f... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 7:10:22 AM
Thanks for your comment, Paul. As far as I know S... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 7:36:02 AM
I think the Believers are cutting their own throa... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 9:01:30 AM
I wouldn't put those two in the same category.&nbs... by molly cruz on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 10:00:20 AM
Maybe you are right. Certainly Chopra is less har... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 10:30:48 AM
Re: people who  invested time and money, de... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 9:43:32 AM
Hi Paul, Sheldrake was in India when all of this... by Craig Weiler on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 2:28:59 PM
Very interesting. Sounds like another one of those... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:44:12 PM
Thanks for your comment, Pal! ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 5:12:37 PM
Well Done.  Great interview. Science nowa... by Don Caldarazzo on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 12:28:37 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Don! ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 11:10:08 PM
This is a formidable, well-written article about a... by Vicki Leon on Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 7:36:12 PM
Wow, thanks, Vicki!  I consider you quite a f... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 11:12:11 PM
I've spent the last 30 years directing scientist... by Martin Burger on Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 at 1:20:01 PM
Bullshit. ... by Paul Easton on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 4:38:02 AM
You seem quite content in you confined conscious... by Martin Burger on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 9:28:26 AM
I agree that we're sleep-walking as a species, bu... by molly cruz on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 11:46:36 AM
Molly, you have a wonderfully positive and optimi... by Martin Burger on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 1:17:58 PM
WOW are you kidding?  Making gold?  What... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 12:34:29 AM
Watch the video and you will see that I am not ki... by Martin Burger on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 8:41:21 AM
I did watch it and tweeted it and posted it in my ... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 11:24:31 AM
After reading Meryl Ann's original piece here, I ... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 1:32:57 PM
Daniel,   I can see you are ... by Martin Burger on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 3:57:05 PM
I do not disagree, am intrigued with this, "...&n... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 5:33:59 PM
I don't know much about Sheldrake, but do understa... by Burl Hall on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 9:07:08 PM
Thanks, Burl. Your insights and intuition always ... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 12:19:46 PM
James Randi is not a scientist.  He is a mag... by Craig Weiler on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 1:15:53 PM
Serious readers should do their own homework on t... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 2:59:33 PM
Speaking of PSI wars, everyone ought to see, ... by Davey Jones on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 6:20:11 PM
Daniel, "Peace unto you and our... by Martin Burger on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 7:49:04 AM
I feel that ALL our "cells" are transforming, and... by Cynthia Piano on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 9:44:42 AM
Cynthia, You offer wise word from the heart as we... by Martin Burger on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 11:12:16 AM
Dear Queen MAB,   Thank you so much fo... by Sheila Parks on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 12:35:08 PM