‘Parapsychologist’ and CSICOP fellow Professor Richard Wiseman is currently getting a blast of publicity for his new book Quirkology (playing on the Freakonomics vibe), with feature articles in New Scientist, The Guardian, The Times and a number of other publications:
For over twenty years, psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman has examined the quirky science of everyday life. He has spent nights in allegedly haunted houses, conducted clandestine experiments in over 30 countries, and dressed up in a giant chicken suit. Here, he describes his adventures into the backwaters of human behaviour, and pays tribute to others who have carried out similarly weird and wonderful work. Presenting a fresh look at the fascinating phenomenon that is your life, this is the definitive guide to what happens when scientists misbehave.
Part of the publicity for Quirkology involves some YouTube videos giving fun illustrations of human psychology – one in particular, the Colour Changing Card Trick, is going great guns on YouTube (and deservedly so) with at least 70,000 views just today, and about half a million all up since being posted, as I write.
The amount of publicity isn’t all that surprising though, as Professor Wiseman has a long history of getting his name in the news – among CSICOPian skeptics, he virtually has no peer (maybe Michael Shermer could challenge) – and that’s saying something, with that organisation’s thirst for publicity. The Skeptical Investigations profile for Professor Wiseman describes him as “Britain’s most ambitious and ubiquitous media skeptic [who] has appeared in hundreds of TV and radio programmes.” He also has a long history of controversial research and debunkings into parapsychological research, as the SI profile shows.
Quirkology is available from Amazon UK at the moment, publication in the US is set for September.