Short bio: Dean Radin is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), Associated Distinguished Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and cofounder and chairman of the biotech company, Cognigenics. He earned an MS (electrical engineering) and a PhD (psychology) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and in 2022 was awarded an Honorary DSc (doctor of science) from the Swami Vivekananda University in Bangalore, India.
Before joining the IONS research staff in 2001, Radin worked at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International. He has given over 750 talks and interviews worldwide, and he is author or coauthor of some 300 scientific and popular articles, four dozen book chapters, and nine books, four of which have been translated into 15 foreign languages: The Conscious Universe (1997), Entangled Minds (2006), Supernormal (2013), and Real Magic (2018).
Longer bio: Dean Radin is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS), Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and co-founder and chairman of the genetic neuroengineering company, Cognigenics, Inc. His early career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BS degree in electrical engineering (magna cum laude, with honors in physics) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2022, he was awarded an honorary DSc (doctor of science) from the Swami Vivekananda University near Bangalore, India. For nearly four decades his research has focused on the nature and capacities of consciousness, primarily its nonlocal aspects (called "psi" for short). Before joining the IONS research staff in 2001, he worked at AT&T Bell Labs, GTE Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International, where he spent a year on the now declassified "Star Gate" program of psychic espionage for the US government.
Radin is author or coauthor of over 300 scientific, technical, and popular articles, four dozen book chapters, and nine books including the Scientific and Medical Network's 1997 book award, The Conscious Universe, Entangled Minds (2006), the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award, Supernormal (2013), and Real Magic (2018). These books are all in print wherever books are sold, and are available in many formats (paper, ebook, audio). So far they have been translated into 15 foreign languages.
His 140+ scientific articles can be found in peer-reviewed journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to PLOS One, PNAS Nexus, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Psychological Bulletin, Brain and Cognition, and Psychology of Consciousness. He serves as a referee for 25 journals. He was featured in a New York Times Magazine article, and he has appeared on dozens of television programs around the world. His 750+ interviews and talks have included presentations at Harvard (medical), Stanford (statistics), Princeton (psychology), Columbia (education), Cambridge (physics), Edinburgh (psychology), the Sorbonne (parapsychology), University of Padova (physics), University of British Columbia (parapsychology), Jawaharlal Nehru University (philosophy), and University of Allahabad (cognitive neuroscience).
Radin's invited talks for industries have included Merck, Google, Johnson & Johnson, and Rabobank, and his government talks have included the National Academy of Sciences, the Naval War College, Army Special Operations Command, Naval Postgraduate School, DARPA, the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (India), the International Center for Leadership and Governance (Malaysia), and the Australian Davos Connection (Australia). In 2017 he was named one of the 100 most inspiring people in the world by the German magazine, OOOM, as of 2023 his filmography on IMDB listed 40+ film, television programs, and documentaries. In 2021 he was designated a Visionary Leader by The Visioneers International Network.
I am not a therapist, nor am I a psychic or a "paranormal investigator." I am a scientist who studies exceptional experiences and those abilities commonly called psychic. If you are disturbed by these experiences, I recommend that you contact a qualified clinical psychologist or psychiatrist knowledgeable about these experiences. Another resource is the Spiritual Emergence Network.
I do not have the resources to personally investigate individual claims of extraordinary abilities. Occasionally the IONS research department does consider such studies. If you'd like to try some online tests of psi abilities, I recommend the IONS-hosted website GotPsi.org.
My first career interest, at age 4, was to be "jet propelled." It took many years before I could better articulate what I meant by that, but that's how I responded when adults asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. My next career interest was the violin, which I started at age 5 and continued to play for the next 20 years, the last five as a professional. Then I switched to fiddle and 5-string banjo and played in bluegrass bands for a number of years. Between gigs, I pursued other interests and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude and with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), a masters in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and then a PhD in psychology, also from UIUC. For my dissertation I developed and tested an AI-based touch-typing training system.
For a decade after my PhD, I worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and later at GTE Laboratories on advanced telecommunications. Projects included designing the human interfaces to national network operations centers in the US and Japan, developing a rapid prototyping system for designing complex human-computer interfaces (before there were personal computers), and studying ways of enhancing brainstorming and creativity in industry. While at Bell Labs, for fun I wrote a series of humorous articles for the science humor magazine, Journal of Irreproducible Results. One of those articles was mentioned on all of the news services, and by the Secretary of Defense at a Pentagon briefing, and almost accidentally started World War III in a way that would have appealed to Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.
Throughout my formative years and first jobs, I never forgot my original interest in being jet propelled. Ultimately, I understood that what I was trying to express as a child was an overriding fascination about the outer limits of inner space -- the depths and capacities of the human mind. As a pre-teen I read everything I could find on mythology, fairy tales, folklore, Eastern philosophy, Western psychology, and science fiction. As a teenager, as my interests in science and engineering grew, I discovered the literature of parapsychology and started to conduct experiments on psychic (psi, for short) phenomena. In hindsight, I imagine that these interests may have been encouraged by growing up in an artistic family and perhaps bolstered by the mental focus inculcated by practicing the violin one or more hours every day for over two decades.
While at Bell Labs, I began to publish some of my psi experiments. Then I discovered the Parapsychological Association and later the Society for Scientific Exploration, and I presented my work at their annual meetings. I was delighted to find scientists who were as interested in these phenomena as I was, and the contacts I made eventually led to appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and in Silicon Valley at Interval Research Corporation and SRI International. At the latter, I was a scientist on a then classified US government
program conducting research on psychic phenomena.
In 2001, I joined the staff at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). I've given lectures for the Psychology Department at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, California), and I've served on doctoral dissertation committees at Saybrook University and at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) where, starting in 2015, I became Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology. In 2022, I was awarded an Honorary DSc (doctor of science) degree by the Swami Vivekananda University (India).
I've been on the science staff at IONS now for over 20 years, and I've spent the majority of my professional career doing what the 4-year-old Dean described as being jet propelled -- scientifically probing the far reaches of inner space, consciousness, and psychic phenomena. Very few scientists are actively engaged in research on this perennially interesting topic. This is not because of a lack of interest or lack of genuine phenomena that can be studied, as skeptics sometimes suggest. The fact is that the majority of scientists are fascinated with psi, and national surveys we've conducted show that over 90% of scientists and engineers have personally experienced one or more of these phenomena. But science, like any social enterprise, has strictly enforced rules of what is acceptable to talk about openly. Thus, despite the aspirations of academic freedom, the reality is that it is risky for anyone engaged in an academic or scientific career to admit their interest in topics deemed controversial.
In my case, the controversy is reflected in the distorted way that Wikipedia covers the topic of psi and the biographical entries of scientists who study it. While many Wikipedia articles are useful, the articles on psi are written by anonymous vandals who enforce an exclusively negative view of parapsychology. Attempts to repair the supposedly "anyone can edit" encyclopedia to improve its accuracy are uniformly blocked via use of an impenetrable labyrinth of bureaucratic rules. For a more accurate assessment of parapsychology, as well as a third-party biography of me, see this site.
For example, a page on Wikipedia that is supposedly my bio (written by unknown persons) implies that no "real" scientists accept the results of my work. That article fails to mention scientists from many disciplines who have openly endorsed my research, including two Nobel Laureates. Nor does it mention that in 2018 I was one of 35 invited speakers at an international science conference sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Merck, of Darmstadt, Germany, which included 5 Nobel Laureates and 29 other prominent scientists.
I am also a member of the jury for Merck's 1 million Euro annual biomedical prize. Other members of that jury hail from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Columbia, Princeton, Oxford, UC Berkeley, Cornell, etc. Thus, my focus on psi research, while more leading-edge than some other topics, is accepted as legitimate by mainstream scientific, academic, and business entities. I am also a nominator for the Bial Foundation's (Portugal) 300,000 Euro annual biomedical prize, and for VinFuture's (Vietnam) US$3 million prize, which is devoted to "breakthrough research and technological innovations that improve the quality of human life."
That same Wikipedia bio page also provides a misleading account of my first popular book, The Conscious Universe, which was reviewed in the top science journal, Nature. That review contained two errors, both of which were made by the reviewer and the journal, and not by me. When Nature was informed about those lapses it published a correction (9 months later). The Conscious Universe has remained in print since it was published in 1997, and I know that it was in the library of a former US Secretary of Defense (among many others).
My interest in psi phenomena was not motivated by personal experiences. Instead, it was sparked by curiosity and an intuitive sense that the mind is far more mysterious and powerful than is taught in academia. Over many years of study and experimentation, I have come to appreciate that psi experiences are not just weird anomalies. They're responsible for most of the greatest inventions, artistic and scientific achievements, creative insights, and religious epiphanies throughout history. Understanding this realm of human experience is thus far more than of academic interest -- it touches on the very best that the human intellect and spirit have had to offer. I discovered while working on these topics that I enjoy the challenge of exploring the far frontiers of science, and I am comfortable tolerating the ambiguity of not knowing the "right answer," which is a constant companion at the edges of the known.
After exploring these phenomena through the lens of science for over four decades, conducting and publishing dozens of controlled experiments, reading the extensive historical and contemporary scientific literature, and working at or visiting nearly all of the active psi laboratories around the world, I've concluded that psychic abilities are real. This is important because it means there are key assumptions within the prevailing scientific worldview that are either incompletely or flatly wrong.
There is always room for constructive debate about these topics, and I know informed scientists whom I respect who hold different opinions and interpretations. I've also learned that skeptics who claim that psi phenomena are impossible, or that there is no credible evidence, are either willfully ignorant of the relevant data, or they suffer from an imagination deficiency, or they mistakenly believe that today's theories are sacrosanct. The latter is a faith-based position similar to blind acceptance of religious dogma, and of greater importance disproven time and again by the history of science.
Perhaps because of my unusual choice of profession, and the risk that that choice entails, I was featured in a New York Times Magazine article in 1996, and I am regularly invited to give presentations to popular, scientific, business, military and government organizations around the world. Some of those activities are listed on this website. I've been interviewed by all of the major broadcast channels in the US, many of the cable channels, and increasingly for streaming services. As of 2023, I've participated in over four dozen TV and film documentaries, and I've been a consultant for a number of feature films and television series with psi-oriented themes.
Last edited July 2023