Essays will be judged by five renowned experts.
Essays must be received by 5 p.m. PST August 1, 2021.
Winners will be announced November 1, 2021.SUBMIT NOW
BICS was founded in June 2020 by aerospace entrepreneur Robert T. Bigelow to support research into both the survival of human consciousness after physical death and, based on data from such studies, the nature of the afterlife. Robert Bigelow is the founder of Bigelow Aerospace. For decades he has also supported serious investigations into consciousness and manifestations of unusual phenomena that are not yet understood by science.
Despite intriguing evidence, the number of research groups and funding devoted to investigating the survival of human consciousness beyond death is shockingly small in the Western world. Even though all 7.8 billion humans on planet Earth will eventually die, very little high quality research is being conducted on perhaps the most important and fundamental question facing our species.
There are almost no significant conferences or symposia on this question which could appeal to scientists, academics and others with advanced training. This is partly because such research is not taken seriously by the current scientific paradigm. It is probably time to end this close-minded approach. We at BICS believe that the only way to do so is to appeal to qualified professionals who have the power to create change.
The purpose of BICS is to raise awareness among the public and within the scientific community of the importance and relevance of such an investigation. BICS hopes to provide a public service by drawing increasing attention to, and encouraging research into, this fundamental and timeless topic. We are seeking hard evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” that takes us beyond religion or philosophy and provides a body of knowledge to be brought widely into the public arena that could be unifying in its impact on human awareness and culture.
The purpose of the BICS essay awards is to raise the public awareness for the Survival of Human Consciousness topic and to stimulate research. The goal of the essay contest is to award contestants for writing papers that summarize the best evidence available for the survival of human consciousness after permanent bodily death.
BICS has assembled a competent board of directors with deep experience in the topic to provide advice on the strategic direction and priorities of the Institute. The board of directors are: acclaimed journalist and author Leslie Kean, forensic neurologist Christopher C. Green MD PhD, theoretical physicist Harold Puthoff PhD, Brian Weiss MD who has lectured worldwide on survival of consciousness and associated topics, Rice University Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought Jeffrey Kripal PhD, University of California Irvine Professor of Statistics Jessica Utts PhD, Anomalies Researcher and BICS Founder Robert T. Bigelow and Molecular Biologist and Anomalies Researcher Colm A. Kelleher PhD.
Photo Max Spadafina, Max Video Productions
Associate Dean of the Faculty,
Jeffrey J. Kripal is the Associate Dean of the Faculty and Graduate Programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Jeff is the author of eight books, including, most recently, The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why It Matters (Penguin, 2020), where he envisions the future centrality and urgency of the humanities in conversation with the history of science, the philosophy of mind, and our shared ethical, political, and ecological challenges.
Author and Researcher
Leslie Kean is an independent investigative journalist. She is the author of the award-winning Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife (Crown Archetype, 2017) and UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (Crown Publishing Group, 2010), a New York Times best seller. UFOs has been translated into eight additional languages and was the basis for a History Channel documentary. Kean is a consulting producer for the 2021 documentary series “Surviving Death”, a Netflix original based on her book. She coauthored a series of groundbreaking stories on UFOs, the Pentagon and the Navy for The New York Times from 2017 - 2020.
Photo Robert Stewart Photography, Ltd
Kit worked for the Federal Government from 1969-1985 and was awarded the National Intelligence Medal for his work in forensic investigations. Currently, Kit applies his 40 plus year background in neurophysiology and forensic neurology with a new clinical focus using high-field brain MRI to determine the differential diagnoses of neurodegenerative disease and study the neural aspects of cognition. His particular clinical case studies relate to high performing persons sustaining injuries under stress. Kit has served on many government and private sector corporate boards and Chaired or served on over 40 Academies of Sciences Committees and Studies. He holds clinical appointments in the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State School of Medicine Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and has since been in private medical practice.
Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry,
Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami
A graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, Brian L. Weiss M.D. is Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. He has also been on the teaching faculty of the University of Pittsburgh, University of Miami, and Florida International University. One of the world’s foremost authorities on past life regression therapy, Weiss’s bestselling books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Dr. Weiss conducts national and international seminars and experiential workshops as well as training programs for professionals.
Professor Emerita of Statistics,
University of California, Irvine
Jessica Utts is Professor Emerita of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. After receiving her PhD in Statistics at Penn State University she spent 30 years as a professor and associate vice provost at the University of California, Davis before moving to UC Irvine. She also has held visiting positions at Stanford, University of Edinburgh and SRI International. Among her many honors, Professor Utts is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association (for which she served as 2016 president), the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Association for Psychological Science. She is the author of three textbooks focusing on statistical literacy, and over 100 scientific papers on statistical methods and applications, most notable to parapsychology. She has appeared on CNN Morning News, Larry King Live, ABC Nightline, and ABC’s 20/20
President and CEO of EarthTech International, Inc.
Dr. Harold (Hal) Puthoff is President and CEO of EarthTech International, Inc. (ETI), and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin (IASA). Earning his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967, Puthoff's professional background spans more than five decades of research at General Electric, Sperry, the National Security Agency, Stanford University, SRI International, and, since 1985, as President of ETI and Director IASA. He has published numerous papers on quantum physics, lasers, space propulsion and human perceptual abilities, and has patents issued in the laser, energy, and communications fields. Puthoff regularly serves various foundations, corporations, NASA, and the Dept. of Defense as advisor on leading-edge technologies and future technology trends.