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Who was Robert A. McConnell? (1914 - 2006)
Robert A. McConnellFirst president of the Parapsychological Association.
Doctor of Philosophy in engineering physics.
Radar development group leader in World War II.
Life Senior Member of the IEEE.
Fellow of the America Psychological Society.
Research Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.
Fellow of the AAAS.

At my request, the webmaster of www.parapsych.org has given me permission to delete or deactivate all hyperlinks to my web site "www.ramcconnell.com". Readers wishing to examine source documents must go directly to my web site.

What are the professional activities of a parapsychologist? Now that I am formally retired, it might be useful to visitors to the P.A. web site if I were to outline my 60 years in parapsychology, describing what I did and how my interests developed over time. The following is a survey. The details can be found in my books and other publications.

From 1943 to 1947, while otherwise engaged in war research and the completion of a Ph.D., I studied the British and American literature of scientific psychical research dating back to 1882.

From 1947 to 1966, I performed experiments which involved subjects wishing for control of the uppermost faces, or the lateral displacement, of fallen dice. The fall of the dice was electrically initiated and the data were recorded by, and analyzed from, photographs that were taken automatically. The subjects were several hundred University of Pittsburgh student volunteers, each of whom was tested only once for a 40-minute session.

Concurrently, from 1953 to 1968, I collaborated as a junior partner in ESP or PK experiments with the well-known parapsychologists G.R.Schmeidler, H. Forwald, and M.L. Anderson.

From the beginning of my experimental research in 1947, I spent a substantial part of my time in writing to scientists and journal editors, seeking support for the field and for my research.

By 1968, my laboratory experimenting was completed but not fully analyzed or reported. The reality of ESP and PK were, and had long been, fully established in the literature. From personal experience, I understood by then the nature and extent of scientists' opposition to parapsychology. At about that time, I shifted my efforts from building a scientific reputation in parapsychology to joining other parapsychologists in promoting the acceptance by scientists of the reality of psi phenomena.

By 1990, I had given gratis, 17,800 copies of my books to scientists and to members of 29 targeted intellectual elites, ranging from 1500 U.S. National Merit Scholar high school libraries to 1800 National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates. Altogether, over the years, I gave away more than 38,000 pieces of parapsychological literature. The details of this effort are given on pages 32-35 and 129-140 of my book, Joyride to Infinity.

Earlier, in 1957, I had become active in the professional organizations of parapsychology. The maintenance of professional standards by putative parapsychological organizations has been of concern to me ever since.

In 1969 I developed a lasting interest in the nature of intelligence, particularly as it relates to Spearman's (A.R. Jensen's) g factor.

In 1982 I delivered a lecture at Cambridge University on the occasion of the combined celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Parapsychological Association and the 100th Anniversary of the (British) Society for Psychical Research, taking as my topic the near future of mankind. That lecture was expanded as Chapter 7 in my 1983 book Parapsychology and Self-Deception in Science, and updated as Chapter 13 in my 1987 book Parapsychology in Retrospect. In the year 2000, the ideas from that lecture became part of my encyclopedic work, Joyride to Infinity: A Scientific Study of the Doomsday Literature.

In July 2001, I published a small, popular book, God.org Are You There?:  On the Deeper Meaning of ESP, in which I explained in autobiographical detail, why, after 60 years and using ten different modes of reality assessment, I am convinced of the reality of ESP. I also stated my conviction that psi phenomena are "non-physical" and thus show the existence of a non-physical realm in which the existence of a "God" becomes a possibility.

After 11 September 2001, I spent a year investigating and comparing ancient and modern Islam. I then examined the atheism of Western science as a fatal disease of capitalism. The resulting, popular language book, Can We Win This War?: ISLAM, was meant to answer two questions: 1. How might psi help reconcile Islam and Christianity without sacrificing scientific principles? 2. How might parapsychology help our economy to recover by inspiring the design of a new democratic capitalism?

In the waning days of my life, I find my mind filled with interests and ideas and the urge to encourage others to continue where I must leave off. The only means available to me are The Parapsychological Association and the Internet, and my friends, upon whom I have become dependent.

With the assistance of my son and my webmaster, I have assembled seven recent essays which may be of interest to others. Introductory summaries to these seven essays appear below, while the full text of each essay will be found on the Internet at the URL shown.

ESP Curriculum Guide
(See "www.ramcconnell.com/curriculum.pdf")
This essay captures eleven ideas from the book with the same title that I believe are of permanent value. The last of these ideas is: "In a scientific sense, we do not know what man is. Our ideas about how man relates to man and to the rest of the universe are too primitive and fragmentary to allow us to distinguish between moral values that are compatible with reality and those that are not."

Psi Bonds: What Are They?

(See "www.ramcconnell.com/psibonds.pdf")
In this essay, written in 2003, I extended parapsychology from the study of psychic events to the study of psychic relationships. The concept of psi bonds separates love from sexual intercourse by recognizing love as one kind of psychic relationship. Knowledge of psi bonds should help parents and teachers in guiding adolescents through the dangers of early love. The study of psi bonds may help an adult to choose, and to become, a loving spouse.

Science Discusses Psychiatry
(See "www.ramcconnell.com/psychiatry.pdf")
In this essay, also written in 2003, I reported how the editors of Science in an informal book review (Science, 31 October 2003, pp. 808-810) of the book A Research Agenda for DSM-V, (ISBN 0-89042-292-3, published by the American Psychiatric Association), the leaders of the psychiatric profession acknowledged that diagnoses made using psychiatry's current Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) are inconsistent with present knowledge of the biological basis of mental functioning and, moreover, are made after discarding data from cases that fit only partially with any diagnostic category.

An Autobiography Supporting the Likelihood of Psi
(See "www.ramcconnell.com/psilikelihood.pdf")
In this essay, written in 2004, I explained why I believe that psi is a scientific reality. This explanation is supported (1) by a 60-year effort devoted to the creation or gathering of empirical evidence for the occurrence of psi, (2) by analyzing that evidence following the technical dictates of established science, and (3) by engaging in many public activities showing by their quantity and nature that I am a person unlikely to engage in fraud or deception regarding this scientific controversy.

Functional MRI and Hormonal Love
(See "www.ramcconnell.com/hormonallove.pdf")
This essay, written in 2004, is a review of the book Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love by Helen E. Fisher. In this essay, I have discussed and commented upon the main topics of the book, following, more or less, the order in which Fisher presents them. Fisher's book discusses a wide range of topics related to romantic love; chapter titles include "Lust, Romance, and Attachment", "Whom We Choose: The Mystery of Sibling Love", "The Evolution of Romantic Love", "Lost Love: Rejection, Despair, and Rage", and "Taking Control of Passion", among others. A principal topic, covered in the chapter titled "Scanning the Brain 'in Love'", is a discussion of the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain to track the local concentration of several hormones during various mental activities associated with romantic love (e.g. viewing a picture of a lover vs. viewing a picture of an acquaintance who is not a lover).

Living With Psychics
(See "www.ramcconnell.com/living.pdf")
In this essay which will be published posthumously on the Internet, I reveal my personal relationships with "my psychic family," a small group of gifted individuals, possessing exceptionally powerful psychic abilities, with whom I associated for many years and who provided me with many of the insights I reported in my essay "Psi Bonds: What Are They?".


Selected Publications:

Can We Win This War?: ISLAM
2002, 128 pages, 4.5" x 6", ISBN 0-9610232-9-5

God.org  Are You There?:  On the Deeper Meaning of ESP

2001, 96 pages, 4.5" x 6", ISBN: 0-9610232-8-7

Joyride To Infinity: A Scientific Study of the Doomsday Literature
2000, 430 pages, 6" x 9", ISBN: 1-878465-35-X

Far Out in the New Age: The Subversion of Science by Cultural Communism
1995, 200 pages, 8.5" x 11", ISBN: 0-9610232-6-0

Parapsychology in Retrospect
1987, 228 pages, 6" x 9", ISBN: 0-9610232-4-4

An Introduction to Parapsychology in the Context of Science
1983, 337 pages, 6" x 9", ISBN: 0-9610232-3-6

Parapsychology and Self-Deception in Science
1983, 150 pages, 6" x 9", ISBN: 0-9610232-2-8

Encounters with Parapsychology
1982, 243 pages, 6" x 9", ISBN: 0-9610232-1-X
 

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