This is a fascinating excerpt from Chapter 9 – Are Psychic Phenomena Illusory?, of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s new book Science Set Free. Reproduced here with permission.
How an open-minded scientist opened my mind
Telepathy literally means “distant feeling”, from the Greek tele, distant, as in telephone and television, and pathe, feeling, as in sympathy and empathy.
In the course of my scientific education at school and university, I was converted to the materialist worldview, and absorbed the standard attitude towards telepathy and other psychic phenomena. I dismissed them. I did not study the evidence because I assumed there was none worth reading. But when I was a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University, in a conversation in the laboratory tearoom, someone mentioned telepathy. I dismissed it out of hand. But sitting nearby was one of the doyens of British biochemistry, Sir Rudolph Peters, formerly Professor of Biochemistry in Oxford, who after retirement continued his research in our laboratory in Cambridge. He was kindly, his eyes twinkled, and had more curiosity than most people half his age. He asked if any of us had ever looked at the evidence. We had not.