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Dr. Caroline Watt Defends, There is Nothing Paranormal About Near-Death Experiences

Industry: Podcasts

Interview with Parapsychology researcher Dr. Caroline Watt explains why, despite criticism, she maintains, “there is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences.”

California (PRUnderground) March 28th, 2012

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with University of Edinburgh professor Dr. Caroline Watt, co-author of, There is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences: how neuroscience can explain seeing bright lights, meeting the dead, or being convinced you are one of them. During the interview Watt discusses her research into near-death experiences:

Alex Tsakiris: The other thing that upset me about the paper was the way it was picked up by so many science publications; Scientific America, NPR, BBC, Discovery, Discovery News. It’s not a strong paper. Yet, it gets echoed back through the mainstream science media as some kind of breakthrough about near-death experiences. Even though it directly contradicts all the leading researchers in the NDE field.

Dr. Caroline Watt:  The leading researchers in the NDE field may publish their papers and have them reported as well. It’s an open forum. If it says something interesting, then it will be reported.  Everybody can have a say. It’s not like I have some kind of privileged access.

Alex Tsakiris:  I’m not suggesting that. I’m saying that what gets picked up and perpetuated through the science media is reflective of the current position, even if that position isn’t supported by the best data.

I’m saying your paper got traction even though there’s not a lot behind it. I’m saying you cited references incorrectly.  And you referenced skeptics like Dr. Susan Blackmore who admits to not being current in the field.

Dr. Caroline Watt:  As I said, it was intended to be a provocative piece. It’s not claiming to be balanced. The paper, if it wasn’t limited to two or three pages, I could have dealt more thoroughly with many different aspects because there’s more to near-death experiences then the dying brain hypothesis. It would have been a longer and more in-depth paper, but that wasn’t the paper that we wrote.

The Skeptiko interview with Dr. Caroline Watt (audio and transcript) is available at:


About is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, psychic detectives, medium communication, reincarnation, and after-life encounters. Each episode features open, honest debate on new scientific discoveries. The show includes interviews with top research scientists and their critics.

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