Tom joined the Society in 1987 and Council in 1990. He was a member of the Publicity sub-committee (later the Image and Publicity Committee) from 1988-1994 – during which time he co-designed the SPR logo – and was Hon. Appeals Secretary 1989-90. In 1991 He served on Professor Robert Morris’s working party which led to the setting up of the now-defunct Research Activities Committee, and was Hon. Testing Officer 1992-2007. In 2005 he joined the Image, Publicity and Publications Committee and when it was split into the Education and Publicity and e-Communications Committees he joined both. He is still a member of the former and was of the latter until it was disbanded in May 2017. While on the e-CC he was involved in developing the Society’s website.
He has refereed papers for JSPR and was its book reviews editor from January 2009 to January 2018. He joined the Library Committee in 2010, becoming its chair in August 2016, and since 2011 has served on the Conference Programme Committee. In 2011 he also became the SPR’s Communications Officer. He adds content to the website and responds to emails received through it, as well as looking after the SPR’s Facebook page (from February 2010) and Twitter account (from July 2013). He has been instrumental in obtaining several collections of material for the SPR’s archives and was involved, with the late Prof. David Fontana, in lobbying for the reissue of the 1999 Scole Report as a mass circulation paperback in 2011.
For some years he was a coordinator of the Anglia Paranormal Research Group and investigated a number of spontaneous cases. He has contributed to JSPR and Paranormal Review (and its predecessors) as well as Fortean Times and online publications; blogs at http://tomruffles.blogspot.co.uk/; and is the author of Ghost Images: Cinema of the Afterlife. He is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He holds two Ph.Ds, one on Life After Death in the Cinema, from the University of East Anglia; the other on George Albert Smith (1864–1959): From Stage to Screen, from Anglia Ruskin University, about a significant figure in the early history of the SPR.
(Updated 11 April 2018)
Conference Programme Committee
Organises the Society's annual international conference, usually held in early September
Chairman: Prof. Adrian Parker
Education and Publicity Committee
Co-ordinates and publicises educational activities
Chairman: Prof. Bernard Carr
Acquires new titles for the SPR library
Chairman: Dr Tom Ruffles