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Victorian Sensations: Seeing and Believing

In the final episode of Victorian Sensations psychotherapist Philippa Perry returns to the 1890s to explore how the late Victorian passion for science co-existed with a deeply held belief in the paranormal. The program will air on BBC Four, 5 June, 2019, and will be available online afterwards. 

"Philippa finds out how Marconi’s early experiments with wireless telegraphy encouraged speculation amongst the public and scientists that telepathy – communication between minds – would be the next scientific breakthrough. She also replicates eminent physicist Oliver Lodge’s pioneering experiment with radio waves and discovers his fascination for exploring the paranormal with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). This Victorian group of ghost hunters included William James, a pioneer of psychology, biologist Alfred Russel Wallace and even Prime Minister William Gladstone. Buried in the archives of the SPR in Cambridge University Library, Philippa finds an incredible Census of Hallucinations that contains 17,000 ghostly encounters sourced from the Victorian public."

Further information about the program here: Seeing and Believing

and here: Victorian Sensations: Seeing and Believing.

SPR council member Dr Tom Ruffles has published commentary about the program on his blog:

Seeing and believing on the BBC.