01 January 2015

Further notes on Professor H.H. Price

Professor Price’s remarks on the quality of my writing were foreshadowed by my getting the Senior Open Scholarship to Somerville College, to a considerable extent on the strength of my essay papers, as it was said at the time. Some time in my first year, at a college sherry party, a don in another department, whom I did not know, came up to me and said she remembered my essay papers in the entrance exam. They were, she said, the most remarkable she had ever seen.

Some people were evidently impressed by me at first sight. W.H. Salter, for example – at least early on during my time at the Society for Psychical Research, while he was still under the influence of his wife. Salter, at some meeting of the SPR, said of me in a slightly jokey way (but as if he meant what he was saying) “Of course I know you are a genius”.

Soon after Professor Price had volunteered to become my supervisor at a meeting of the Board of Literae Humaniores, he was telephoned by Somerville in an attempt to dissuade him from accepting this position. Professor Price told me of this quite humorously, although he did not tell me of anything specific that had been said against me.

What they (for example the Somerville dons) felt against anyone who showed any open-mindedness to anything other than reductionist materialism seemed to be that they assumed them to have strong beliefs in something spiritualistic. On the other hand, those who condemned other people for supposedly having these beliefs (whether or not they really did have them) appeared themselves to have strong and unshakeable beliefs in other directions.

I appeal for financial and moral support in improving my position. I need people to provide moral support both for fundraising, and as temporary or possibly long-term workers. Those interested should read my post on interns.