Bedales School, located in the town of Steep in southeast England, is one of the most prestigious “public schools” in the UK. As you know, those are the equivalent of what we in the US would call “private boarding schools,” catering to children (males and females in this case) between about 13 and 18 years old.
The school has an annual “Eckersley Memorial Lectures,” designed to stimulate an interest in science. You can read about some past speakers here (pp. 9-11). Since the lectures began in the Sixties they’ve included a number of scientific luminaries like Herman Bondi, Lewis Wolpert, Colin Blakemore, Ken Pounds and Nobel Laureates Lawrence Bragg and Max Perutz.
Well, look at the luminary they’ve chosen for this year’s lecture:
It’s outrageous that someone with such wacko ideas is not only being honored this way, but will be given the chance to corrupt young minds with ideas about morphic resonance, psychic phenomena, and How Dogs Know When Their Owners are Coming Home. And the lecture blurb actually boasts of this stuff, characterizing Sheldrake as “one of the world’s most innovative biologists and writers.” “Notorious” would be a better word than “innovative.” Sadly, a bunch of kids in this sold-out lecture will get to hear that materialism is a dying paradigm in science. What were they thinking?
I feel sorry for the lost opportunity to turn kids onto real, genuine, materialistic, hard science rather than fluffy woo. I don’t know about you, but I’m at least going to register a small protest.
The Governors of the School can be contacted via Helen McBrown at email@example.com
One of the school’s mottos is “We grow enquiring minds.“ In this case, they’re going to stunt them.