From The Bigelow Institute For Consciousness Studies Website
BICS is proud to publish, for the first time, all twenty nine winning essays from the 2021 BICS essay competition. None of these essays have been previously published. The essays represent a completely novel body of work that were written specifically for the BICS essay contest.
We hope these essays collectively provide a valuable resource for researchers and members of the public for presenting the evidence for survival of human consciousness after bodily death.
Preamble For 1st, 2nd And 3rd Prizes
As readers study the top three essays authored by Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, Dr. Pim van Lommel and Dr. Leo Ruickbie, it will become apparent that there is a great variety of approaches that prove the case for survival of human consciousness after bodily death beyond a reasonable doubt.
One hundred percent of the responsibility for judging of the BICS essay contest lay in the hands of the six judges. There was no influence by either Robert Bigelow or Colm Kelleher on the judging process. The essays were chosen by majority rule with the central criterion being the cumulative evidence for Survival of Human Consciousness beyond permanent bodily death and beyond a reasonable doubt. Because of the very large number of excellent essays that BICS received (204), the judges spent over four months of very intensive work in meticulously evaluating, deliberating, arguing and eventually making their decisions.
Why Were These Essays Chosen By The Judges?
The winners were chosen based on the power of the arguments presented and on how persuasively the essays made the case for survival of human consciousness beyond a reasonable doubt. In reading these top three essays some members of the public may disagree that particular essays should have been included in the top three winning group. That opinion is to be expected. Every reader may resonate differently with these and other essays. While the judges were reading and re-reading the two hundred and four submitted essays, they were conscious of the great responsibility of choosing the top three. The judges chose these principal winners with exquisite care.
Commentary On Eleven Essay Winners
There was a very high standard shown in a large number of essays that did not quite achieve the threshold for the top three winners. Again, members of the public may disagree with the awarding of some of the 11 winners whose essays are published below. Indeed some people may argue that particular winners of the $50,000 prizes actually deserve to have won one of the top three prizes. These discussions are expected and very healthy, because they indicate the substantial number of exceptional essays that were submitted to BICS. The impartial judges came to their decision without any influence from the outside and this decision was a very difficult one that culminated over four months of very intense discussions, debate and extensive dialog.
Julie Beischel PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
Stephen Braude PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
Bernardo Kastrup PhD, PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
Elizabeth Krohn – $50,000 (Essay)
Jeffrey Long MD – $50,000 (Essay)
Michael Nahm PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
Sharon Rawlette PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
Alexandre Caroli Rocha PhD, Marina Weiler PhD, Raphael Fernandes Casseb PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
Nicolas Rouleau PhD – $50,000 (Essay)
David Rousseau PhD, Julie Billingham BSc – $50,000 (Essay)
Michael Tymn – $50,000 (Essay)
Commentary On Fifteen Honorable Mentions
Even when the first 14 essays had been identified and selected by the judges, there remained a significant number of high quality essays that the judges continued to champion. At that stage it was decided to create an Honorable Mentions category for another 15 essays that were so good that the judges wished to recognize the hard work and scholarship that they demonstrated. Robert Bigelow then decided that rather than just formally recognizing the group of 15 essays by publishing them on the BICS website, in addition he made the decision to award these 15 essays an additional tranche of prize money. Robert allocated another $300,000 into the prize pot that was divided equally among the 15 Honorable Mention essays. Each of these essays is being awarded $20,000. This generous act brought the total prize money for all twenty nine essays to $1,800,000, arguably an unprecedented level of financial support for this field of research.
Chris Carter – $20,000 (Essay)
Nick Cook – $20,000 (Essay)
Arnaud Delorme PhD, Dean Radin PhD, Helané Wahbeh ND, MCR – $20,000 (Essay)
Peter Fenwick MD, Pier-Francesco Moretti PhD, PhD, Vasileios Basios PhD, Martin Redfern – $20,000 (Essay)
Christopher Kerr MD, PhD – $20,000 (Essay)
Bruce Leininger – $20,000 (Essay)
Robert G. Mays BSc and Suzanne B. Mays AA – $20,000 (Essay)
Walter Meyer zu Erpen BA, MAS – $20,000 (Essay)
Vernon Neppe MD, PhD, FRSSAf – $20,000 (Essay)
Sam Parnia MD, PhD, Tara Keshavarz Shirazi BS – $20,000 (Essay)
Chris A. Roe PhD, Callum E. Cooper PhD, David Lorimer MA, Evelyn Elsaesser – $20,000 (Essay)
Andreas Sommer PhD – $20,000 (Essay)
Greg Taylor – $20,000 (Essay)
Steve Taylor PhD – $20,000 (Essay)
Akila Weerasekera PhD, Shanaka de Silva MA – $20,000 (Essay)
Background On Six Judges
Throughout late 2020, BICS conducted an extensive search to recruit qualified judges for the essay contest. The judges were chosen carefully both for their great experience in the overall field of survival of consciousness research but also because it was felt that varied eclectic backgrounds would contribute expertise across the maximum spectrum of subject areas. The following are brief summaries of the background, affiliation and experience of the six BICS judges.
Jeffrey J. Kripal PhD – Jeffrey J. Kripal is the Associate Dean of the Faculty and Graduate Programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Jeff is the author of eight books and numerous peer reviewed publications.
Leslie Kean – Leslie Kean is an independent investigative journalist focused on bringing credible information about hidden, paranormal and “impossible” realities into the mainstream. She is the author of the award-winning Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife (Crown Archetype, 2017) and UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (Crown Publishing Group, 2010), a New York Times bestseller
Christopher C. Green, MD, PhD – Kit worked for the Federal Government from 1969-1985 and was awarded the National Intelligence Medal for his work in forensic investigations. Currently, Kit applies his 40 plus year background in neurophysiology and forensic neurology with a new clinical focus using high-field brain MRI to determine the differential diagnoses of neurodegenerative disease and study the neural aspects of cognition.
Brian Weiss MD – A graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, Brian L. Weiss M.D. is Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. He has also been on the teaching faculty of the University of Pittsburgh, University of Miami, and Florida International University. Brian is one of the world’s foremost authorities on past life regression therapy.
Jessica Utts PhD – Jessica Utts is Professor Emerita of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. After receiving her PhD in Statistics at Penn State University she spent 30 years as a professor and associate vice provost at the University of California, Davis before moving to UC Irvine. She also has held visiting positions at Stanford, University of Edinburgh and SRI International. Among her many honors, Professor Utts is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association (for which she served as 2016 president), the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Association for Psychological Science.
Harold Puthoff PhD – Dr. Harold (Hal) Puthoff is President and CEO of EarthTech International, Inc. (ETI), and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin (IASA). Earning his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967, Puthoff’s professional background spans more than five decades of research at General Electric, Sperry, the National Security Agency, Stanford University, SRI International, and, since 1985, as President of ETI and Director IASA.