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THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY

CHARLES ROBERT RICHET

Physiologist; president (1905), Society for Psychical Research, London. B. August 26, 1850, d., December 3, 1935, Paris. Agrégé de physiologie, 1878, Medical School, University of Paris. Professor of physiology, Medical School, University of Paris, 1887-1925. Winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine; member: Académie de Médecine, Académie des Sciences.

Professor Richet contributed much to research on the nervous system, animal heat and respiration, anesthesia, serum therapy, and neuro-muscular stimuli. It was hard work on anaphylaxis, the sensitivity of the body to alien protein substances, that won him the Nobel Prize.

His interest in psychical research began in 1884 when he attended experiments in Milan with the physcial medium Esapia Palladino. He began to conduct experiments of his own with a friend who had mediumistic abilities, contributed a paper describing these experiments to the SPR Journal, and began to correspond with Frederic W. H. Myers (q.v.) and other members of the London Society, and with Albert von Schrenck-Notzing (q.v.), a psychic researcher at work in Germany.

In 1891 Professor Richet founded the Annales des Sciences Psychiques, the first French publication devoted to psychical research, and was its editor until 1919. He is credited with proposing the term "métapsychique" as the French equivalent for the English "psychic research" or "parapsychology." On the founding of the Institut Mé International in 1918, he became honorary president, contributing to its bulletin through the years and serving as its president from 1930 until his death in 1935. Professor Richet was particulary interest in telepathy, in pure clairvoyance, in premonition and in telekinesis. He held that psi phenomena are physiological in nature, and he firmly resisted theories of human survival of death. He wrote some fifty books and papers on physiological subjects.

In the field of parapsychology, his works include Traité de Métaphychique (Treatise on Parapsychology; 1922); Notre Sixiéme Sens (Our Sixth Sense; 1928); L'Avenir de la Prémontion (The Future of Premonition; 1931); La Grande Espérance (The Great Hope; 1933); Au Secours (To the Rescue; 1935). See "Charles Richet, His Life and Work" (Tomorrrow magazine, Vol. 5, No. 5, Autumn 1957).

Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications


 
 

 

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