Royal Society lecture on psychical research

An upcoming lecture to be presented at the Royal Society in London is to look at psychical research between the two world wars. Entitled Spooks and Spoofs: Psychologists and Psychical Research in the Inter-War Years, the talk is being presented by Professor Elizabeth Valentine at 13:00 to 14:00 GMT on October 26th and will consider why a number of Royal Society physicist fellows were interested in this area of study in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Professor Valentine, who is a Chartered Psychologist, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, is to discuss the reasons behind the decision for senior academic psychologists to become involved with amateur psychical researcher and author Harry Price.

These individuals became members of Mr Price's University of London Council for Psychical Investigation - but questions have been raised as to why they would cooperate with a person lacking scientific credentials.

One reason to be explored is the idea that they had a "common engagement in a delicate balancing act between courting popular appeal and asserting scientific expertise and authority".

The lecture is open to everyone and free to attend, with doors opening at 12:30 GMT and seats provided on a first-come-first-served basis.