19 April 2010

How to do research

What I wrote about Professor Hardy recently reminded me that “B” had said how impressive he had found the books we wrote on the basis of our appeals for cases, showing how much information we had got out of them. Tacitly he admitted that the Hardy Centre had, in contrast, really got next to nothing out of its appeal for cases of religious experiences.

“B“ was another person (with a degree in psychology) who was employed by Professor Hardy as an assistant, to avoid employing either me or Charles, since I had rejected the constant approaches which were made to persuade me to work for Hardy for nothing, and especially to get something out of the cases which lay around in boxes.

So perhaps I ought to explain how remarkable was what I derived from the work that was possible within the very constricted funding provided by Cecil King. Nobody else could have produced anything so constructive even by spending far more money and working in far better circumstances than I was forced to do.

Plenty of people with (at least fairly) high IQs and academic status had known about the phenomena as reported, without recognising the various types into which they could be classified, and how they might be related.

This work should have been seen, and still should be seen, as ample justification for providing me with a professorship and at least one research department within which further research could proceed within the areas that had been opened up.

In fact, the breakthroughs that had been made in defining previously unrecognised areas were acknowledged only in the sense that “research” in those nominal areas was initiated, and carried out by people who already had academic salary and status and who were sufficiently identified with the modern outlook to avoid any sensitive issues. On the other hand, I and my associates were kept statusless, unsalaried and deprived of support in any form.