Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Stop Press!

Press Release
For immediate release 30 September 2009

From Sceptic to Psychic?

Can a scientist become a psychic and win a million dollars?

Dr. Matthew Smith leaves behind the safety of academic life today to pursue a unique and rather ambitious project. After more than fifteen years of researching ‘paranormal’ experiences from a scientific perspective, Matthew will set aside his scepticism to see if he can discover and develop his own hidden psychic abilities. In a year-long project, he will work with some of the world’s leading mediums and psychics to discover if he has any hidden psychic talents. Leading parapsychologists will monitor his progress by subjecting him to scientific tests along the way.

At the end of the year he will take the million dollar challenge offered by American magician and sceptic James Randi for anyone who can demonstrate genuine paranormal abilities.

'It’s one heck of a challenge, but I’m really looking forward to delving into the world of the psychic. There’s only so much you can learn from conducting experiments on other people. Sometimes you just have to get in there and try it for yourself!', said Matthew.

Matthew’s first challenge will be on Saturday 3rd October when he will be giving readings at a psychic fair in Witney, Oxfordshire. ‘They will be readings based on tarot, and maybe a little cold reading!’, explained Matthew, ‘I’m keen to find out how good my readings are before I’ve even started any psychic development.’ Matthew will give readings for free and ask his clients to compare his with those they get from other readers at the fair.

Deb Blakeley, organiser of the psychic fair said, ‘I applaud Matthew for trying this out for himself. He may surprise himself! And I welcome any attempt to find out more about how psychic readings might work.’

Matthew leaves his post as Associate Professor of Psychology at Liverpool Hope University on Wednesday 30th September after ten years at the University. Shortly after he arrived at the University, he was asked to be the resident parapsychologist and sceptic on Living TV’s
Most Haunted Live to pass a critical eye over the ‘paranormal’ activity experienced by the investigation team.

Matthew added, ‘This challenge takes me outside of academia, and out of my comfort zone, to explore these topics from a very different perspective.’

Matthew is writing about his experience for a book,
Million Dollar Psychic, to be published next year.

Saturday 3rd October: Psychic Fair, Langdale Hall, Market Square, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX8 6AB. For details, contact Deb Blakeley: Tel. 01993 702233; Email

Matthew Smith Email


Million Dollar Challenge (James Randi Educational Foundation)
Third Eye Workshops
Liverpool Hope University


  1. I am very excited for you and very much luck forward to how this will unfold over the coming year. Can I reserve a signed copy of the book now? ;-) Keep us all posted, as I'm sure you will. L

  2. P.S. The luck (look) was a little joke - did you spot it? :-)

  3. Very brave but exciting project.

    Blimey,if you do develop any psychic tendencies you may be the next ....erm.(best not name names eh)household name in

    Wishing you the best of luck and look forward to the book.

    Have fun.

  4. The very best of luck, Matthew with your project.Dad.

  5. free at last!!!
    Good luck with everything, matt!!!!!!


  6. Mystic Matt! :o) Am sure you'll be fab!


  7. Wow that's extremely ambitious (and interesting)
    Look forward to hearing how you get on and good luck for the readings on Saturday :)
    Just one thing how are you going to get people to pay for another reading for comparison when yours is free? I would just go for the free one and exit stage left!

  8. It's one of the conditions of getting a reading from me. It will be explained that I'm new to all this and that it's part of my training and that they can only receive a reading if they get another one to compare it with. Many will have already had a reading from another reader anyway. They will also need to agree to filling in a questionnaire, possibly a brief interview and a follow-up email.

    And Enn... Don't judge everybody by your own standards! ;-)

  9. An interesting experiment which I look forward to following.

    Love the reply to Enn .... the devil in me is thinking that you knew that people may take the reading and run which is why you have set something in place??? lol
    Of course the angel in me knows this is not the case at all :-)

    Its a big brave step to leave your job to take this year out though. Did you watch the Jane Goldman series when she undertook different psychic challenges?

  10. I think enn made a good point. Who would pay if they didn't have to.

    You have got it covered really well with a questionaire and follow ups also.