The Primacy of Consciousness –  The Next Great Scientific Revolution? – RECORDINGS now available

Event Details

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A partnership between

Galileo Commission

Scientific and Medical Network

Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences 

Institute of Noetic Sciences


“I regard consciousness as fundamental, matter is derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. There is no matter as such; it exists only by virtue of a force bringing the particle to vibration and holding it together in a minute solar system; we must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. The mind is the matrix of all matter” – Max Planck

What if consciousness is fundamental and even primary?

Join some of the world’s leading consciousness researchers for a series of round tables to launch the landmark Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences (AAPS) volume: Is Consciousness Primary?

– Edited by Stephan A. Schwartz, Marjorie Woollacott PhD and Gary E. Schwartz PhD –

The Galileo Commission report argues for an expansion of the philosophical basis of a science of consciousness beyond the conventional physicalist worldview by widening the evidence base to examine the implications for our understanding of reality of research into significant human experiences such as veridical OBE perceptions in NDEs, children who remember previous lives, and extensive scientific studies of parapsychological phenomena. The Galileo Commission encourages scientists and academics to ‘look through the telescope’ at this evidence base that represents a fundamental challenge to the prevailing materialistic outlook.

There is now growing support for the idea that consciousness is fundamental and even primary, as Max Planck noted – and these views have considerably greater explanatory power when it comes to accounting for this wider evidence base, which materialist positions tend to ignore or dismiss – as Jeff Kripal observes, our conclusions are a function of our exclusions and that to ‘dismiss is to miss’.

This first Galileo Commission Summit will feature a series of roundtables with most of the prominent researchers in this first volume of the AAPS book series Advances in Postmaterialist Sciences, created with the intent of educating scientists, students, and science-minded readers about postmaterialist consciousness research and its applications. The intention is that each volume combines rigour and creativity, expresses first person (inner experiences) as well as third person (external observations), and facilitates the betterment of humanity and the planet.



The inspiration for the theme of this first volume, “Is Consciousness Primary?” came about at the end of the first meeting of the Founding Board of Directors of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Science in August of 2017 in Tucson, Arizona.

During the last session of the meeting, each presenter shared the evolution of the thinking and research that had led them to accept the idea that nonlocal

consciousness, not physical or biological matter, is causal and fundamental. The group was intrigued by the overlapping themes they heard from their co-presenters, spread across the group’s varied research in neuroscience, psychology, physics, and clinical medicine.

It was suggested that each presenter at the meeting share their research and conclusions in chapters to be published in this volume, in which they each respond to the question “Is Consciousness Primary?” through examples from their own life experience and research. We believe this volume is unique in sharing both the contributing authors’ first-person experiences that transformed their understanding of the primacy of consciousness, and the research that supports this perspective.

Read the press release here.

Read the Layman’s Guide to the Galileo Commission report here.

“The scientific world is to a very large extent in denial about consciousness. These essays on the primacy of consciousness go a significant way towards addressing such a limitation” – Prof Brian Josephson, FRS; Nobel laureate, Physics; Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge.


Galileo Commission Summit and Book Launch

Co-chaired by David Lorimer, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, Prof Marjorie Woollacott, and Prof Bernard Carr


Friday, December 4

4 – 6 pm (GMT) ⦿ The Primacy of Consciousness and Experience

• Prof Marjorie Woollacott (US)

• Dr Menas Kafatos (US, Korea)

• Dr Pim van Lommel (Netherlands)

6:30 – 8:30 pm (GMT) ⦿ Freeing Science from Scientism 

• Prof Dean Radin (US)

• Prof Charles T. Tart (US)

• Dr Julia Mossbridge (US)

Saturday, December 5

4 – 6 pm (GMT) ⦿ Postmaterial Health and Healing 

• Dr Diane Hennacy Powell (US)

• Dr Natalie L. Dyer (US)

• Dr Daniel Benor (Canada)

6:30 – 8:30 pm (GMT) ⦿ Physics, Nonlocality and Synchronicity 

• Prof Edward R. Close (US)

• Stephan Schwartz (US)

• Prof Gary E. Schwartz (US)

⦿ Please note: you may drop in and out of the conference.
Free recording links will be sent to all live attendees as part of the event follow-up.



Dr Daniel J. BenorDr Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM is a holistic psychiatric psychotherapist who blends in his therapy elements from intuitive and spiritual awareness, spiritual healing (as in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch), WHEE – Wholistic Hybrid derived from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), transactional analysis, gestalt therapy, hypnotherapy, meditation, imagery and relaxation, dream analysis, and other approaches. Dr. Benor has taught this spectrum of methods internationally for 35 years to people involved in holistic, intuitive, and spiritual approaches to caring, health and personal development. Dr. Benor founded The Doctor-Healer Network in England. He is the author of 7 Minutes to Natural Pain Release, Healing Research (volumes I-III) and many articles on holistic, spiritual healing. He is the editor of the peer reviewed International Journal of Healing and Caring – On Line and moderator of, a major informational website on spiritual awareness, healing and CAM research.


Edward R. Close, PhD has been involved in pursuing an understanding of the interaction of consciousness and quantum reality since 1977. He is currently research consultant to the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute in Seattle, and Principle Environmental Scientist at EJC Advantage, LLC, in Missouri. His academic background and experience have uniquely prepared him for involvement in post-materialism scientific research. Ed has received a number of recognitions and awards, including the Gabino Barreda Award, from the government of Mexico in 2013, “for his history of service and contribution to the strengthening of the educational system”, presented at the first Science and Spirituality Conference in Puebla Mexico, where he was a guest speaker. He also received special recognition in 2016, along with Dr. Vernon Neppe, from the ISPE, receiving the worldwide, interdisciplinary, seldom awarded, Whiting Memorial Prize.


Natalie L. Dyer, PhD is a Research Scientist with Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Connor Integrative Health Network. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Queen’s University and her Postdoctoral Fellowships in Psychology at Harvard University and at Harvard Medical School. She has published multiple scientific papers and presented her research to diverse audiences throughout North America and Europe. Natalie is also an energy medicine practitioner and teacher, incorporating Japanese Usui Reiki and North American, European, and Tibetan shamanism into her practice.


Menas C. Kafatos, PhD is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Chair Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University, Orange, CA. He served as Founding Dean of the Schmid College of Science and Technology and Vice Chancellor at Chapman University (2009-2012). He directs the Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations. He has published and co-authored 19 books including The Conscious Universe (Springer-Verlag, 1990, 2000), The Non-local Universe (Oxford University Press (1999), Principles of Integrative Science (Romanian Academy of Sciences Press, 2000); Looking In, Seeing Out (Theosophical Publishing House, 1991). He is co-author with Deepak Chopra of the New York Times best seller book You Are the Universe (Penguin/Harmony/Random House, 2017), and Living the Living Presence (in Korean, Miroksa Press, Seoul, 2016; and in Greek, Melissa Publishing, 2017). He has published more than 320 peer-reviewed journal articles, refereed published proceedings and book chapters.


Julia Mossbridge, PhD is the Director of the Innovation Lab at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the Lead Robot Psychologist and Executive Coach at Hanson Robotics, a Visiting Scholar in the Psychology Department at Northwestern University, the Science Director at Focus@Will Labs, and an Associate Professor in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is the 2014 winner of the Charles Honorton Integrative Contributions award for this work. Julia is the author of Unfolding: The Perpetual Science of Your Soul’s Work (New World Library, 2002) and The Garden: An Inside Experiment. She is the co-author, with Imants Baruss, of Transcendent Mind: Re-Thinking the Science of Consciousness, published in 2017 by the American Psychological Association.


Dr Diane Hennacy Powell, MD is an award-winning clinician and internationally recognized expert on autism and savant syndrome. She is an independent researcher with a private neuropsychiatry practice in Medford, Oregon. She became the Director of Research for the John E. Mack Institute in 2005 and was the Project Director for the Annual Transformation of Consciousness Report for the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which resulted in the widely-acclaimed 2007 Shift Report. Her 2008 book The ESP Enigma (Walker) received an award from the LA Festival of Books and has been translated into German, Portuguese, and Finnish.


Dean Radin, PhD is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Associated Distinguished Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International, and is the author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, four dozen book chapters, and four books, including the best-selling The Conscious Universe (1997), Entangled Minds (2006), the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award winner Supernormal (2013), and Real Magic (2018).



Gary E. Schwartz, PhD is a professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery at the University of Arizona and director of its Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health.  He served as the Founding President of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences. Gary has also co-edited eleven academic books and is the author of The Sacred Promise (2011), The Energy Healing Experiments (2007), The G.O.D. Experiments (2006), The Afterlife Experiments (2002), The Truth about Medium (2005), and The Living Energy Universe (1999). The Energy Healing Experiments (2007) received the Gold Medal from the Nautilus Book Awards. His new books are An Atheist in Heaven (2016), written with Paul Davids, and Super Synchronicity (2017).

Stephan A. Schwartz has spent his life studying the nature of consciousness at both the individual and social level. He is an experimentalist, historian, futurist, and award-winning author, a Distinguished Consulting Faculty of Saybrook University, and a BIAL fellow. He writes both fiction and non-fiction, is a columnist for the journal Explore, and editor of the daily web publication He is the author of: The Secret Vaults of Time, The Alexandria Project, Mind Rover, Opening to the Infinite, and his latest, The 8 Laws of Change, winner of the 2016 Nautilus Book Award for Social Change. Also three novels, Awakening – A Novel of Aliens and Consciousness, 2018 Winner of the Book Excellence Award for Literary Excellence, The Vision – A Novel of Time and Consciousness, and The Amish Girl – A Novel of Death and Consciousness.


Charles T. Tart, PhD is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology. He is an Emeritus Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now called Sofia University) in Palo Alto, California, and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Davis campus of the University of California. Charles is also a co-founder of the Campaign for Open Sciences to promote the movement toward a Postmaterialist Science. He has had more than 250 articles published in professional journals and books and is the author of The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together and Mind Science: Meditation Training for Practical People.


Dr Pim van Lommel, MD worked from 1977-2003 as a cardiologist in Hospital Rijnstate, a 800 beds Teaching Hospital in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and is now doing full-time research on the mind-brain relation. He published several articles on cardiology, but since he started his research on near-death experiences (NDE) in survivors of cardiac arrest in 1986 he is the author of over 20 articles, one book and many chapters about NDE. He was co-founder of the Dutch IANDS in 1988. In 2006, the president of India rewarded him the Life Time Achievement Award at the World Congress on Clinical and Preventive Cardiology in New Delhi. His Dutch book Endless Consciousness was nominated for the ‘Book of the Year 2008’ in the Netherlands. In 2010 he received the 2010 Book Award from the Scientific and Medical Network, and in 2017 he received the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Award from the Dutch Society of Volunteers in Palliative and Terminal Care (VPTZ). His book Endless Consciousness is a bestseller with more than 150.000 copies sold and a total of 300,000 worldwide in 10 languages – most recently Chinese – while a Russian edition is forthcoming.


Marjorie Woollacott, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Human Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Oregon.  Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and includes both research in rehabilitation medicine and alternative forms of therapy such as tai chi and meditation. She is president of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences (AAPS), the Research Director of the International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS), and has written more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles—several of which were on spiritual awakening and meditation, the topic that motivated her to write her latest book, Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind.


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