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Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science

We are a group of internationally known scientists, from a variety of scientific fields (biology, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, psychiatry), who participated in an international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality and society. The summit was co-organized by Gary E. Schwartz, PhD and Mario Beauregard, PhD, the University of Arizona, and Lisa Miller, PhD, Columbia University. This summit was held at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, on February 7-9, 2014.

1. The modern scientific worldview is predominantly predicated on assumptions that are closely associated with classical physics. Materialism—the idea that matter is the only reality—is one of these assumptions. A related assumption is reductionism, the notion that complex things can be understood by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things such as tiny material particles.
2. During the 19th century, these assumptions narrowed, turned into dogmas, and coalesced into an ideological belief system that came to be known as "scientific materialism." This belief system implies that the mind is nothing but the physical activity of the brain, and that our thoughts cannot have any effect upon our brains and bodies, our actions, and the physical world.
3. The ideology of scientific materialism became dominant in academia during the 20th century. So dominant that a majority of scientists started to believe that it was based on established empirical evidence, and represented the only rational view of the world.
4. Scientific methods based upon materialistic philosophy have been highly successful in not only increasing our understanding of nature but also in bringing greater control and freedom through advances in technology.


Gregor Hagedorn, the initiator of Science for Future, explains how Scientists for Future uses a pro-active form of science communication to draw attention to global challenges.

As the initiator of the movement "Scientists for future," could you give us a "peek behind the scenes": How did you come up with the idea and how did the concept evolve?

Like many others, I was concerned by the slow progress of the sustainability agenda. That is, not just climate change, but also, for example, biodiversity loss, loss of soils, food security, and questions of human rights and justice. The 2030 SDG agenda of the United Nations provides a reasonable overview of the spectrum of challenges that humanity is facing. But even though the problems are - somewhat vaguely - known and many people despair about it, it seems that our industrialized societies are reluctant or even unwilling to address the challenges through effective action. Because scientific or scholarly results do not reach the majority of citizens, we continue to live - to a certain sense - in the past.

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