Professor Stephen Braude Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Former Chair of the Department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. He is a professional philosopher and well-established author both of books and articles who is particularly noted for two things. One is for his work in certain Borderland areas in which topics within philosophy, psychology, parapsychology and psychiatry meet, overlap and interact (or should interact). The other is for the clarity and pithiness of expression with which he handles abstruse and difficult issues. He studied Philosophy and English at Oberlin College and the University of London, and in 1971 he received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After publishing a number of articles in the philosophy of language, temporal logic, and the philosophy of time, he turned his attention to several related problems in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind — in particular, questions concerning causality, scientific explanation generally, and psychological explanation specifically.
Evelyn Elsaesser is an expert on death-related experiences, notably Near-death experiences (NDEs) and spontaneous and direct after-death communications (ADCs). She is the author of numerous books, articles and book chapters on these topics, including Lessons from the Light, co-authored with Kenneth Ring, On the Other Side of Life, and Talking with Angel about Illness, Death and Survival. Her latest book Quand les défunts viennent à nous is dedicated to spontaneous and direct ADCs. Evelyn Elsaesser is co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of Swiss IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) and coordinator for Europe of IANDS. She has served for many years as coordinator of the Swiss branch of the Scientific and Medical Network (SMN).
Amanda Fielding is the founder and executive director of the Beckley Foundation, and has been called the ‘hidden hand’ behind the renaissance of psychedelic research, and her contribution to global drug policy has also been pivotal and widely acknowledged. By establishing key research collaborations with some of the world’s most prestigious universities, she has propelled the field forward over the last 20 years, conducting several landmark studies, such as the world’s first LSD brain imaging study. Amanda set up the Beckley Foundation in 1998 with two main aims: firstly, to investigate consciousness and its changing states and secondly, to reform global drug policy by developing evidence-based, health-oriented, harm-reducing, cost-effective drug policies which respect human rights. Through her work with the Beckley Foundation, Amanda is bridging the gap between science and policy, allowing them to complement and inform one another, ultimately harnessing our knowledge of the benefits of many prohibited substances to maximise human wellbeing and potential.
Betty J. Kovács received her PhD from the University of California, Irvine, in Comparative Literature and Theory of Symbolic/Mythic Language. She has studied and taught in Europe and the United States. She taught Literature, Writing, and Symbolic/Mythic Language for twenty-five years. She served many years as Chair and Program Chair on the Board of Directors of the Jung Society of Claremont in California and sits on the Academic Advisory Board of Forever Family Foundation. She is author of The Miracle of Death: There is Nothing But Life and Merchants of Light: The Consciousness That is Changing the World.
Dr David Luke is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich where he has been teaching an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience since 2009. His research focuses on transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including seven books, most recently Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience (2017). David is also director of the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon at the Institute of Ecotechnics, London, and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness. He lives life on the edge – of Sussex.
Prof Chris Roe, PhD is Professor of Psychology at the University of Northampton and Director of the Centre for Psychology & Social Sciences that is based there. Chris is the Perrott-Warrick Senior Researcher (Trinity College, Cambridge) and Visiting Professor at Bucks New University. He is President of the Society for Psychical Research and the International Affiliate for England of the Parapsychology Foundation, Past-Chair of the British Psychological Society Transpersonal Psychology Section, and Past-President of the Parapsychological Association. He is on the editorial board for the Journal of Parapsychology, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research and the Transpersonal Psychology Review. His research interests are around understanding the nature of anomalous experiences and includes research on the phenomenology of paranormal experience, particularly as it affects wellbeing, the psychology of paranormal belief and of deception, as well as experimental approaches to test claims for extrasensory perception and psychokinesis, particularly where they involve psychological factors. Recent research has been concerned with the relationship between altered states of consciousness and psychic experience. He has published over 100 journal papers and book chapters and given over 150 invited and conference presentations.
Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 90 technical papers and nine books, including The Science Delusion, and the co-author of six books. As a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, he was Director of Studies in Cell Biology, and was also a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He worked in Hyderabad, India, as Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and also lived for two years in the Benedictine ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths on the bank of the river Cauvery in Tamil Nadu. From 2005-2010, he was Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for the study of unexplained human and animal abilities, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California and of Schumacher College in Dartington, Devon. His web site is www.sheldrake.org
Steve Taylor PhD is the author of several best-selling books on psychology and spirituality, and is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University. He is the current chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. His books include Waking From Sleep, The Fall, Out of the Darkness, The Leap and his new book Spiritual Science: Why Science Needs Spirituality to Make Sense of the World. His books have been published in 20 languages and Eckhart Tolle has described his work as ‘an important contribution to the shift in consciousness which is happening on our planet at present. His website is www.stevenmtaylor.com
Ken Wilber Often referred to as the “Einstein of consciousness studies”, Ken Wilber is a pre-eminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken Wilber is one of the most important philosophers in the world today. He is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages. Ken Wilber currently lives in Denver, Colorado, and is still active as a philosopher, author, and teacher, with all of his major publications still in print. Ken is the originator of the world’s first truly comprehensive or integrative philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory.” Ken is also the founder of the Integral Institute, which is the first organization fully dedicated to advancement and application of the Integral Approach in relation to contemporary global issues. It was formed in collaboration with over 200 scholars and experts, specializing in education, politics, business, medicine, psychology, spirituality, as well as, law and criminal justice.
Marjorie Woollacott, PhD, is a neuroscience professor emeritus at the University of Oregon and has been a meditator for 40+ years. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health in the US, and she is research director of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and the President of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences (AAPS), which explores consciousness as a fundamental component of reality. Her most recent book is Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind, in which she shares her own experience of her meditation awakening and her own and other scientific studies on such phenomena as near-death experiences, supporting the premise that consciousness functions beyond the mind. She has also co-authored a popular textbook for health professionals and has written 200+ research articles, several of which were on meditation.