THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY
ROBERT JOHN STRUTT
(4th Baron Rayleigh), physicist; president, Society for Psychical Research, London, 1937-38. B. August 28, 1875, Witham, Essex, England; d. December 14, 1947, Witham. Educ. Eton College; Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1897; M.A., 1901). M. 1905, Lady Mary Hilda Clements (d. 1919): 2 d., 3 s.; m. 1920, Kathleen Alice Cuthbert: 1 s. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1900-1906; professor of physics, Imperial College of Science and Technology, Kensington, 1908-1919; president, Royal Institution of Great Britain, 1945 until his death. Fellow, Royal Society; hon. D.Sc., 1913, Dublin University; 1929, Durham University; hon. LL.D., 1933, Ednburgh University.
The son of a founder-member of the SPR, Lord Rayleight had a lifelong interest in psychic research. His support of the study as a serious field of research had great influence, particularly among his fellow scientists, by whom he was universally recognized as a prolific and skillful investigator in the field of physics.
His books included a biography of John William Strutt (q.v.), 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1924); a biography of Sir J. J. Thomas (1942); and one of the first volumes to be published on radioactivity, The Becquerel Rays and the Properties of Radium (1904). He contributed many papers to the Proceedings of the Royal Society and other scientific journals. Lord Rayleigh's articles in the SPR Proceedings include "A Method of Silhouette Photography by Infra-Red Rays for Use in Mediumistic Investigation" (Vol. 41, Part 128, 1932); "presidential address: The Problem of Physical Phenomena in Connection with Psychical Research" (Vol. 44, Part 152, 1938); "The Question of Lights Supposed to Have Been Observed Near the Poles of a Magnet" (Vol. 44, Part 153, 1938-39); "Some Recollections of Henry Sidgwick" (Vol. 44, Part 156, 1936-39).
Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications