Medhurst, R. G. (1920–1971)
British writer on parapsychology and a leading member of
the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), London. He was attracted
to psychical research after hearing some of S. G. Soal’s
lectures on the subject. Medhurst’s degree in mathematics and
his outstanding work in mathematical engineering were of special
value in evaluating the mathematical aspects of ESP. His
paper ‘‘On the Origin of the Prepared Random Numbers Used
in the Shackleton Experiments’’ (1971) was undertaken to defend
Soal’s reputation, but instead Medhurst discovered flaws
in his mentor’s work, and he concluded that the common method
of constructing quasi-random series in parapsychology was
incorrect. Medhurst’s work led eventually to Soal’s illegitimate
manipulation of data being discovered.
Medhurst also contributed work on such subjects as the investigation
of Dutch psychic Gerard Croiset and Duke University’s
ESP cards. He discussed one project to discover ESP
agents and percipients and wrote a number of book reviews. He
headed the SPR’s library committee.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Medhurst, R. G. Crookes and the Spirit World A Collection of
Writings by or Concerning the Work of Sir William Crookes. Edited
by K. M. Goldney and M. R. Barrington. London Taplinger,
1972.
———. ‘‘On the Origin of the Prepared Random Numbers
Used in the Shackleton Experiments.’’ Journal of the Society for
Psychical Research 46 (1971).
Medhurst, R. G., and K. M. Goldney. ‘‘William Crookes and
the Physical Phenomena of Mediumship.’’ Proceedings of the
Society for Psychical Research 54, no. 195 (March 1964).

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