Once again, a challenge to U.K. psychics to show their stuff

Merseyside Skeptics are giving the UK’s top psychics, including Sally Morgan, the opportunity to demonstrate they can talk to the dead
Calling all psychics: a chance to prove your powers in a scientific test.

Although the chances that mediums really can contact the dead are probably infinitesimally remote, the persistence of belief in psychic powers among the general public remains interesting. By studying psychics and their purported messages from the beyond, we can learn something about human nature and why people so readily believe in the paranormal.

What’s more, on the off chance that we’re wrong and that the dead really do speak to individuals like Sally Morgan and Colin Fry, we will witness first hand one of the most startling, improbable and important discoveries in scientific history.

If the mediums are right and the dead really can get in touch, it would have a profound effect on the way we understand our lives.

If you recall, last year, Sally Morgan did NOT show up at the designated time for her test. She refuses to take part. What about this year?

Fortunately, not all psychics think there are better things to do than to validate their profession, which is why I’ll be working once more with Professor Chris French and science writer Simon Singh to test the paranormal abilities of two professional psychics on Sunday, with the results to be announced on 31 October, Halloween.

Should Sally, as the UK’s most recognisable medium, want to reconsider her position, our invitation remains open. We have the time and space in our test to accommodate Sally if she chooses to take part.

This year we have widened our challenge to include the other top mediums currently touring the UK, formally inviting Colin Fry, Gordon Smith, T J Higgs and Derek Acorah.

The test will take place at Goldsmiths, University of London, on Sunday 21 October. Will the self-proclaimed celebrity psychics show up? I doubt it. Their gig is too lucrative to risk blowing it. They will just keep on with their day jobs. No science required.

  3 comments for “Once again, a challenge to U.K. psychics to show their stuff

  1. October 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    The badpsychics blog calls this “a poor PR stunt”. http://badpsychics.blogspot.com/2012/10/skepticism-or-publicity-stunt.html

    Picking on psychics is a common tactic for skeptic groups – namely MSS with Chris French and Simon Singh and for the JREF. My thoughts are, it’s not a bad thing to point out how silly the idea of psychics are and to show that they make money exploiting the emotions of people, which is sickening. But it can go too far and be a silly stunt in itself. I do wish that skeptics groups would focus on other targets that cause harm as well.

    However, in order to get attention, you do have to pull stunts on occasion. It works. It may not feel professional or isn’t scientific but what must be considered is that you must get people THINKING about the topic in a new way. If you want to achieve some change in the world, it’s not going to happen through Skeptics in the Pub nights. It’s going to happen by making a giant splash.

  2. October 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I loved my visit to Goldsmiths! However, I doubt it’ll be attended by the requested psychics, et al. But, like the Million Dollar Challenge, this is something worth getting out – even if it helps remind the public that the College exists. Goldsmiths is one of the few Anomalistic psych departments in the world, and we should let skeptics know that this is not just a ‘debunking hobby’ but involves academic discipline.

  3. October 31, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    I couldn’t agree more, the announcement of the results to this test posted on 31/10/12 on the BBC is currently the most read story on the news site. It is more about drawing attention to critical thinking than going after psychics.

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