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Utrecht II, Thursday, October 16th, 2008
Opening Remarks
Lisette Coly
Executive Director, Parapsychology Foundation


Thank you Mrs. Coly.

As you can all imagine professionally but certainly personally I am elated and humbled at the extraordinary opportunity to stand before you in both my grandmother’s and now mother’s footsteps in Utrecht. I literally grew up with constant references to the Utrecht meeting, both in the family and while working at the Foundation. It has been my long-held deeply cherished hope that PF would once again return to Utrecht for another groundbreaking meeting but it remained a somewhat distant dream with lack of funds available which now thanks to the HJBF Foundation’s appreciation of our efforts and generosity now makes Utrecht II a reality.

Obviously we must express our gratitude to the Het Johan Borgman Fonds who have graciously made this meeting possible with special thanks to my counterpart in Utrecht II’s governing Board, Dr. Wim Kramer. Wim played “matchmaker” and has worked tirelessly with me to mesh the resources of two very disparate organizations to make “Utrecht II: Charting the Future of Parapsychology” a reality. We all owe Wim and his organization a great vote of thanks in addition to UII’s Conference Bureau consisting of Drs. Carlos S. Alvarado and Nancy L. Zingrone who were charged not only with helping to conceptualize the conference but charged with all the copious conference communications while creating and maintaining UII’s conference presence within PF’s Lyceum website. Susan MacWilliam, PF’s Film Archivist and Northern Ireland’s artist of repute will record our efforts for posterity.

Every attempt has been made to remain true to the spirit of Utrecht I and hence much is owed to UII’s Advisory committee who were instrumental in our meeting’s conceptualization and formation, always available for consultation and input to our effors. Our thanks now to Dr. Eberhard Bauer, Dr. Etzel Cardeña, Dr. Hans Gerding, Mr. Gerd Hövelmann and Dr. Roger Nelson. In a few moments I will turn you over to our esteemed moderator, Dr. Chris Roe who has the unenviable task of keeping us all in line and on time … which may not be easy in the heat of discussion but will be invaluable to our efforts for which we must be appreciative.

I would like to share with you some opening remarks of Utrecht I’s Chairman, Dr. Gardner Murphy who played such a large part in the formation, execution and results of that historic meeting.

“I suggest that the primary reason why parapsychology has failed to receive the intellectual and moral support which its importance requires is timidity, fear of ridicule, or a deeper level, fear of getting out of touch with our neighbors. … Frequently, our data call for boldness, both in announcing facts and especially in setting up hypotheses bold enough to do justice to the extraordinary nature of the facts. … We frequently have need of ‘outrageous hypotheses,’ hypotheses which outrage the common sense of today. …There is I think a very fundamental difference between a fanciful speculation and an outrageous hypothesis from which new directions in experimental research may take their start. How much shall we attempt to accomplish this week?”

We unfortunately don’t have a week this time around but we do have a very intense and stimulating three days planned … so let us without further ado, “Bring on your bold hypotheses to do justice in the extraordinary nature of the facts!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Proceedings of “Utrecht II: Charting the Future of Parapsychology Foundation” are now Open.

I give you our Moderator, Dr. Chris Roe.

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