SSE Talks


Mediumship Under The Microscope: Science And The Afterlife
May 12, 2010 at 5:26 PM EST | J. BEISCHEL


Julie Beischel


Empirical laboratory evidence shows that certain mediums can report accurate and specific information about the deceased loved ones (termed discarnates) of living people (termed sitters) even without any prior knowledge about the sitters or the discarnates and in the complete absence of any sensory feedback. While the public‘s increasing fascination with the phenomenon of mediumship is visibly evident in the current rise of this topic in numerous aspects of popular culture, the traditional scientific community has only recently begun to recognize mediumship as a topic worth investigating when, in fact, the scientific study of mediums is over a century old. Mediumship findings to date, however, do not directly address which parapsychological mechanisms are involved in the anomalous information reception (AIR) by mediums. In and of themselves, the data cannot distinguish between theories including: (a) the survival of consciousness, (b) super-psi, and (c) the psychic reservoir hypothesis. At The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, we engage in research that is proof-focused, that is, concerned with demonstrating a specific and replicable effect (i.e., AIR) in a laboratory setting, as well as research that is process-focused and examines the mediums‘ experiences during communication with the deceased. The continued evaluation of the mediumship process and research addressing the survival of consciousness hypothesis are important for many reasons, including those that are academically important as well as those that are socially relevant. Mediumship research addresses the possible mechanisms at work during the processing of non-local, non-sensory information and the relationship between the mind/consciousness and the brain. In addition, mediums may be able to perform socially useful tasks such as locating missing persons or contributing to criminal investigations; the information mediums provide may contain wisdom or knowledge that could benefit scientific, technological, and/or social progress; evidence for life after death could revolutionize health care by alleviating the anxiety felt by hospice patients and their families and changing the way allopathic physicians view death; and, finally, mediumship readings may be helpful in grief counseling and recovery.


Julie Beischel, PhD, is the Co-Founder and Director of Research at The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential. Her research interests center on the survival of consciousness hypothesis ("life after death") and include proof-focused studies on mediums' communication with discarnates and process-focused studies on mediums' experiences of that communication. Dr. Beischel received her doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology with a minor in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arizona. She was the first recipient of the William James Post-doctoral Fellowship in Mediumship and Survival Research at the University of Arizona where she served as Co-Director of the VERITAS Research Program with Dr. Gary E. Schwartz before moving the research and the screening and training of prospective research mediums to Windbridge in January of 2008. Dr. Beischel is currently a member of the Parapsychological Association and a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Rhine Research Center and the Forever Family Foundation. She is the recipient of a 2008 Bial Foundation research grant and has published peer-reviewed articles in journals including the Journal of Scientific Exploration, The Journal of Parapsychology, and Explore: the Journal of Science and Healing. More information about Dr. Beischel and The Windbridge Institute can be found at




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