UVA withdrawing from AWARE/'Immortality Project' has already made up its mind on survival

#1
From time to time I correspond with Ed Kelly, Bruce Greyson, and others at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. I assume posters here are aware of the division, but if you aren't here is its website: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page
It's the world's only research unit dedicated to critically examining the evidence for life after death.

In any event, Greyson said that the division's withdrawal from AWARE was due solely to "financial and logistical considerations." In particular, they weren't able to get the necessary volunteer hours from busy nurses and doctors. There also wasn't enough funding to have more than one oximeter on site. To try to move it around the 8 floors of the hospital to get to people seconds after cardiac arrest is basically impossible. Based on these hurdles, he seems pretty skeptical that AWARE will come up with any meaningful results.

What's more maddening, though, is that the "Immortality Project" at UC Riverside has apparently already made up its mind on survival. Greyson told me that a member of the review committee reached out to him to complain. He told him that most of the committee basically believe survival to be impossible and that it would be a waste of money to investigate it. He also described some proposals that he considered to be scientifically rigorous but which were rejected by the committee out of hand. I am pretty sure I can guess who the committee member is, and he is definitely not a proponent.
 
#3
From time to time I correspond with Ed Kelly, Bruce Greyson, and others at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. I assume posters here are aware of the division, but if you aren't here is its website: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page
It's the world's only research unit dedicated to critically examining the evidence for life after death.

In any event, Greyson said that the division's withdrawal from AWARE was due solely to "financial and logistical considerations." In particular, they weren't able to get the necessary volunteer hours from busy nurses and doctors. There also wasn't enough funding to have more than one oximeter on site. To try to move it around the 8 floors of the hospital to get to people seconds after cardiac arrest is basically impossible. Based on these hurdles, he seems pretty skeptical that AWARE will come up with any meaningful results.

What's more maddening, though, is that the "Immortality Project" at UC Riverside has apparently already made up its mind on survival. Greyson told me that a member of the review committee reached out to him to complain. He told him that most of the committee basically believe survival to be impossible and that it would be a waste of money to investigate it. He also described some proposals that he considered to be scientifically rigorous but which were rejected by the committee out of hand. I am pretty sure I can guess who the committee member is, and he is definitely not a proponent.
Discouraging news, but thanks for the update.

I plan on winning the lottery soon, so maybe I can donate a couple oximeters and save the day ;-)
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#4
So we as a people have money to throw away on the search for the so far fictional Multiverse we can almost certainly never travel around in*, but we can't spare some change to figure out the central mysteries of consciousness?

Sad to see how deep the infection of materialist evangelism runs in the scientific community.

*It's doubly maddening that part of the reason for finding this fairytale Multiverse seems to be getting consciousness out of QM.
 
#5
So we as a people have money to throw away on the search for the so far fictional Multiverse we can almost certainly never travel around in*, but we can't spare some change to figure out the central mysteries of consciousness?
Yeah, the priorities out there in the world can be frustrating at times.

I'm a fan of nuclear fusion research, but was shocked while watching one show where they mentioned the UK alone spends more money on Ringtones than the entire world spends on fusion research. Fusion could solve the world's energy problems. AWARE can give us nascent insight into the mysteries of life that absolutely trump anything we've seen to date as a species, but it gets nothing in funding compared to fusion, let alone cell phone ring tones ... :eek:
 
#6
From time to time I correspond with Ed Kelly, Bruce Greyson, and others at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. I assume posters here are aware of the division, but if you aren't here is its website: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page
It's the world's only research unit dedicated to critically examining the evidence for life after death.

In any event, Greyson said that the division's withdrawal from AWARE was due solely to "financial and logistical considerations." In particular, they weren't able to get the necessary volunteer hours from busy nurses and doctors. There also wasn't enough funding to have more than one oximeter on site. To try to move it around the 8 floors of the hospital to get to people seconds after cardiac arrest is basically impossible. Based on these hurdles, he seems pretty skeptical that AWARE will come up with any meaningful results.

What's more maddening, though, is that the "Immortality Project" at UC Riverside has apparently already made up its mind on survival. Greyson told me that a member of the review committee reached out to him to complain. He told him that most of the committee basically believe survival to be impossible and that it would be a waste of money to investigate it. He also described some proposals that he considered to be scientifically rigorous but which were rejected by the committee out of hand. I am pretty sure I can guess who the committee member is, and he is definitely not a proponent.
Am I under the impression that they stopped before they even started it?
 
#7
I guess the other question would be - is this going to delay the paper that is supposed to be released this year (that originally was going to be released last year before other delays!)?
 
#8
I don't see why there would be any additional delay. The data for the paper has already been collected, and a provisional version of the paper produced and is currently in the peer-review process.

Quote from Sam Parnia:
"He explained to us that the results of the first phase of the AWARE study have been completed and have been submitted for publication in a medical journal. The study results are now undergoing peer review."​

http://www.horizonresearch.org/main_page.php?cat_id=293
 
#10
I don't see why there would be any additional delay. The data for the paper has already been collected, and a provisional version of the paper produced and is currently in the peer-review process.

Quote from Sam Parnia:
"He explained to us that the results of the first phase of the AWARE study have been completed and have been submitted for publication in a medical journal. The study results are now undergoing peer review."​

http://www.horizonresearch.org/main_page.php?cat_id=293
Yes, the study hasn't been delayed, only that UVA, a secondary site, is withdrawing. Still, it sounds like Parnia is going to need a lot more funding than he has at the moment...
 
#11
I don't see why there would be any additional delay. The data for the paper has already been collected, and a provisional version of the paper produced and is currently in the peer-review process.

Quote from Sam Parnia:
"He explained to us that the results of the first phase of the AWARE study have been completed and have been submitted for publication in a medical journal. The study results are now undergoing peer review."​

http://www.horizonresearch.org/main_page.php?cat_id=293
Good points Typoz! :)
 
#12
Yeah, the priorities out there in the world can be frustrating at times.

I'm a fan of nuclear fusion research, but was shocked while watching one show where they mentioned the UK alone spends more money on Ringtones than the entire world spends on fusion research. Fusion could solve the world's energy problems. AWARE can give us nascent insight into the mysteries of life that absolutely trump anything we've seen to date as a species, but it gets nothing in funding compared to fusion, let alone cell phone ring tones ... :eek:
Nuclear fusion (of the hot variety) has had plenty of funding:

Over the past 50 years or so tens of billions of dollars have been spent on nuclear fusion research, yet just as some projects are beginning to get into their stride doubts are growing and funding is under threat; especially from the US.

After failing to achieve break-even last year, the fusion reactor being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF), is now under threat of having its funding cut, and congress is also reconsidering the contribution that it had promised to the international ITER fusion project in France.

Naturally, hot fusion proponents are always saying that a breakthrough in commercially-viable production of energy is just around the corner. I don't know whether or not it is, but at some point decisions have to be made about whether or not to continue. It seems to me that 50 years and tens of billions of dollars is not ungenerous. If it is in fact not possible to make it commercially viable, then I suppose one could take the view that research funding should be allocated elsewhere.

IMO, we have a perfectly viable source of nuclear energy in nuclear fission, and even many environmentalists support this. Trouble is, we have the Chernobyl and Fukushima events: the one caused by ill-advised testing of plant equipment that wasn't carried out as it should have been, and the other by a tsunami in an area of Japan susceptible to one, where one could argue a plant should not have been built in the first place, but if so, it should have been better designed to withstand one.

Then, of course, there is LENR/Cold Fusion, which despite all sorts of opposition (including that of hot-fusion interests), refuses to lie down. There seems definitely to be something to the phenomenon, though whether it will ever be commercially viable is also moot at this point. Whatever the physics is, it's not yet properly understood: but one thing I will say is that it doesn't require such huge funding as hot fusion. Luckily, there's sufficient commercial interest in it that there is some private funding available, especially in Japan (involving Mitsubishi and Toyota, for example), where they are particularly in need of locally-sourced energy because they are so reliant on foreign sources.

I'm personally in favour of LENR research: if it eventually becomes commercially viable, it's probably not so potentially dangerous as fission. It's possibly, at least in principle, the perfect source of energy that nobody could oppose on rational grounds, though it is being opposed on ideological grounds by hot-fusion enthusiasts who want their funding to continue, as well as academics who dismiss it more or less out of hand because it challenges existing paradigms. A bit like the situation with psi research, actually.
 
#13
What's more maddening, though, is that the "Immortality Project" at UC Riverside has apparently already made up its mind on survival. Greyson told me that a member of the review committee reached out to him to complain. He told him that most of the committee basically believe survival to be impossible and that it would be a waste of money to investigate it. He also described some proposals that he considered to be scientifically rigorous but which were rejected by the committee out of hand. I am pretty sure I can guess who the committee member is, and he is definitely not a proponent.
What's your guess?
 
#14
At least AWARE, according to Parnia, turned up further evidence that may put the whole question of "Maybe the Brain was producing the experience right before it went offline, or right after it came back online" to rest. Basically applied certain stimuli at critical times to rule out when the experience was had. Don't know if anything has been written up on this yet. Short video below where Parnia talks about this about 4.30 in, or watch the whole thing as it's rather short @ 6 minutes total:

 
#15
...What's more maddening, though, is that the "Immortality Project" at UC Riverside has apparently already made up its mind on survival. Greyson told me that a member of the review committee reached out to him to complain. He told him that most of the committee basically believe survival to be impossible and that it would be a waste of money to investigate it. He also described some proposals that he considered to be scientifically rigorous but which were rejected by the committee out of hand. I am pretty sure I can guess who the committee member is, and he is definitely not a proponent.

The Immortality Project

Mid-Point Conference

A two-day conference will be held on June 20-21, 2014 at the University of California-Riverside. The theme of the conference is “The Science of Immortality: Preliminary Results”, and it ends the first year of funded empirical research.

The mid-point conference is primarily intended as a venue for collaboration among the researchers themselves. It will be open to the public in the form of a webcast.

The conference will give the researchers opportunities to cross-pollinate and discuss their work in progress.

http://www.sptimmortalityproject.com/mid-point-conference/
 
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