For months now, the paranormal research groups in Great Britain have been stirred with rumors circulating among them. The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) has finally been recognized by the government in Great Britain as a professional body for investigators of anomalous phenomena.
The Association, an education and research charity interested in all manner of paranormal goings-on, made the announcement during its 30th anniversary conference on September 10, 2011. The announcement took many members by surprise.
As the Association’s website explains, a professional body’s objective is to further the interests of a particular profession, its clients, and the public. It adds that such a body often sets standards for their members.
It is worth noting too that the word “professional” being referred here does not imply that the Association is to undertake commercial activities, instead, it refers to taking a responsible approach towards investigating the paranormal.
The announcement led to wrong conclusions to some as people grappled to understand its implication. Contrary to what most people expect, ASSAP is not to receive funding from the government. It is not also responsible for what other paranormal research groups do as it is not to be put in charge over them, nor to start policing their activities. Any changes result from the Association’s new status shall apply to all members of ASSAP only.
The recognition however, implies that investigations of anomalous phenomena are now referred as being capable of a professional activity that is good for everybody.
As to how the Association is operating, nothing has actually changed. But, in a field so often ridiculed by outsiders, the government’s recognition seems like a significant development especially to most paranormal enthusiasts.
Whether it is significant or not, how this development will manifest itself in the real world is yet to be seen. Currently, the Association is seeking people’s views as to what should happen next.
ASSAP is venturing on a consultation process, polling out opinions about important issues such as what scientific and ethical standards should paranormal investigators undertake. People are encouraged to send their views at the Association’s website, located at http://www.assap.ac.uk. You don’t need to be a member to contribute your opinion. More inputs from people, the better. Speaking out your opinion may just help shape the future of paranormal research.
eParanormal.net (c) 2011