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Ian Stevenson 1918 – 2007

Extremely sad news today regarding one of the pioneers of scientific research into reincarnation – it has been announced that Dr Ian Stevenson died February 8th, aged 88, at his home after a long illness. Dr Stevenson was highly regarded for his objective and in-depth work into the topic of reincarnation, spending more than four decades in the field investigating cases and publishing scientific papers on them. We profiled Dr Ian Stevenson in Sub Rosa Issue 3, which I also adapted for a biographical entry on our wiki The Red Pill – worth checking out if you’re not familiar with his work. You can also visit the website for the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies, which Dr Stevenson was director of.

When discussing the difficulty in getting science to take notice of such controversial subjects, Dr Stevenson cynically noted that “science only changes one funeral at a time”. Perhaps we can take note of his comment and hope for more objective analysis and observation from mainstream science in the future.

In the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, Dr Harold Lief wrote of Ian Stevenson: “Either he is making a colossal mistake, or he will be known as the Galileo of the twentieth century.” It will be interesting to see how the field of reincarnation research progresses from here, with others such as Dr Jim Tucker stepping into his footsteps. Of one thing there is no doubt – the loss of Dr Ian Stevenson, while expected, will leave a gaping hole. May he be finding all the answers as we speak!

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