I mentioned these two projects in a recent post. A crowd funding appeal is now underway for ISHAR, the Integrative Studies Historical Archive and Repository, and although still ‘under construction, the Open Sciences web portal has quite a lot of stuff to poke around in.
According to its website, also still under construction, ISHAR is a project created by the mind/body community to provide a ‘world-collection of cultural and scientific knowledge, research and discussion with an emphasis on integrative medicine and consciousness studies, including all notable subjects therein’.
The project is led by Deepak Chopra, and has support from the likes of author Bernardo Kastrup, parapsychologists Dean Radin and Marilyn Schlitz, various scientists, medical directors, healers, etc. I spoke a while ago with Rome Viharo, an experienced web media professional who is closely involved in building the website. He says that as well as providing a comprehensive database of scientific research, the plan is to run themed discussions on different areas on a quarterly basis.
ISHAR’s appeal is asking for a $20 donation (or however much folks can afford.) I think this project is going to get traction and I urge readers to donate.
Rupert Sheldrake’s Open Sciences is also worth watching (although as far as I know it has not asked for donations). Rupert describes it as ‘a portal for open-minded scientific research, listing open-minded scientists, linking to relevant web sites, books and journals, containing a selection of videos and essays, and with a series of blogs on open questions in the sciences.’
I sense a more directly confrontational approach, and on a wider front, than ISHAR. The mission statement begins:
We believe that the sciences are being constricted by dogmatism, and in particular by a subservience to the philosophy of materialism, the doctrine that matter is the only reality and that the mind is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. We believe that the sciences would be more scientific if they were free to investigate the natural world in an un-dogmatic spirit, following the scientific methods of data collecting, hypothesis testing and critical discussion.
The site has also published a detailed Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science, an outcome of the summit of scientists that took place at the University of Arizona in February. Sample extract:
... the nearly absolute dominance of materialism in the academic world has seriously constricted the sciences and hampered the development of the scientific study of mind and spirituality. Faith in this ideology, as an exclusive explanatory framework for reality, has compelled scientists to neglect the subjective dimension of human experience. This has led to a severely distorted and impoverished understanding of ourselves and our place in nature.
Both projects are scheduled for launch in October, at which time I expect there will be a fair bit of publicity. The SPR’s Encyclopedia continues to make good progress, and hopefully will appear next spring or summer.