What Is Swept Under the Rug?





Science suppression, Occam’s razor, Occam’s broom, anomalous cognition, psi, parapsychology, science censorship


Playing with the Occam’s razor trope, Nobel laureate Sidney Brenner coined the term Occam’s broom to describe the practice of sweeping under the rug facts that do not support the scientist’s hypothesis. This practice is taken to extremes by some critics of anomalous cognition research (psi), who engage in dismissing inconvenient research data (including sometimes their own), naturalistic observations, and eminent scientists supporting this research. They also engage in rhetoric in which they claim that psi ought not be considered unless published in mainstream journals while simultaneously blocking such publication, and fail to acknowledge methodological and statistical advances spurred by psi research.

Author Biography

Etzel Cardeña, Lund University

Etzel Cardeña was born and raised in México. He has been elected Fellow of APS, APA, and other organizations and holds the endowed Thorsen Chair in psychology at Lund University, Sweden, where he leads the Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP). His areas of research include alterations of consciousness and anomalous experiences (including psi), dissociative processes and posttraumatic reactions, the neurophenomenology of hypnosis and transcendent experiences, and the stream of consciousness during waking and altered states. His Ph. D. is from the University of California, Davis (under Charles Tart) and he was a postdoctoral fellow and scholar resident at Stanford University. He has close to 400 publications, some in top journals in psychology and related disciplines such as American Journal of Psychiatry,  American Psychologist, Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and others. Various professional organizations have given him awards for his research, theoretical, historical, and pedagogical work. He was the Founding Editor of Mindfield, Past Editor of Journal of Parapsychology, and Senior Editor of the books Varieties of Anomalous Experiences, Altering Consciousness, and Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century. He has also worked professionally as a theatre director, actor, and playwright.


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How to Cite

Cardeña, E. (2022). What Is Swept Under the Rug?. Journal of Anomalous Experience and Cognition, 2(1), 5–15. https://doi.org/10.31156/jaex.24100