Following on from television shows like ‘Ghost Hunters‘ and books like ‘Paranormology‘, the hunt for ghosts and research into the spiritual realm is set to lose its pseudoscience badge in favour of a degree.
Students at the University of Mount Gambier in South Australia can now choose to become official Paranormologists. With the aim to make Paranormology as commonplace as geography or astronomy, the University is trialing the course over the next few years.
“The first few subjects deal with scientific methodology, the importance of thoroughly recording observations and peer review. Once the students have a grounding in the accepted practices, they then move on to equipment, practical training and observation techniques,” says Doctor Sue Rochester, “The word ‘ghost’ doesn’t even appear in any recommended text books until the third year.”
Unproven methodologies such as clairvoyance and seances are not part of the curriculum, says Sue, although they are addressed in the subjects of hoaxes.
“As a scientist working in a field that naturally attracts charlatanism, it’s important to know how to remain objective, how to spot human interference, how to use scientific analysis to rule out trickery.”
The Paranormology course is being piloted with a view for expanding into other fields, such as Cryptozoology and Ufology.