Format for RSA symposium

Introduction 2-2.15pm
Roundtable to introduce ourselves and discuss why we are attending this event – what is important about this event to each person

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First Session 2-3.15pm
Each of the influencers who have posed a question start the proceedings discussing their issue, followed by roundtable discussion.

Prof Tom McLeish
“Does a consideration and awareness of the spiritual and/or religious shed light on how art and science articulate as human endeavours and expressions?”

Dr Alan Rayner
“How could our current views of the relationship between material and immaterial presence change in a way that reconciles differences between Science, Art and Spirituality and enables a deepened understanding of our human place in Nature to develop?”

Dr Mick Collins
“What does the aetheric do to us, and what do we do with the aetheric”

Rev Prof June Boyce-Tillman
“Where is the soul in constructions of musical healing?”

John Maizels will offer an informative talk on his extensive collection of outsider art and his fascination with this work
Tea/coffee served

Second session 3.30-4.30pm

Dr Sarah V Tuner
“…one thing to talk about is terminology/ vocabulary…The “aetheric” is definitely not a concept that many people are familiar and much of the languages associated with esoteric are precisely that – esoteric! Has this been part of the problem, I wonder?” 

“why have  artists, scientists, theologians and academics despite the research and beliefs of eminent academics, societies, artists and business leaders for nearly two centuries, not been able to make significant inroads ie  that the great questions are able to be openly asked in today’s universities and in society. The taboo  – what holds it (the cognitive dissonance, the taboo) in place?

Is the political environment/concept/structure reflective, an imitation of the concept of the divine in society? Does our proponent and opponent politics in the U.K.  reflect our concept of the divine? “

Third Session 4.30-5pm
What can be done?
How can ideas be moved forward to make an impact?

RSA Symposium Press Release 06 February 2017

Some of the Greatest Minds in the UK Convene to bring about a New Cultural Shift

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Trail-blazing painter Degard (FRSA), is chairing a unique conversation between leading thinkers in the normally very separate worlds, of Theology, Physics, Biology,, Psychology, Esotericism, and the Arts at the Royal Society this coming March.

This symposium entitled, ‘Unifying the arts, science and the divine……about time too!’ will go ahead at RSA House, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ from 2-5PM Wednesday, 22nd March 2017.

Confirmed attendees include:

  • Dr Sarah Victoria Turner, Deputy Director for Research at the Paul Mellon Centre
  • Professor Mark Edwards, Tutor in Theology, Christchurch College, Cambridge
  • Professor Tom McLeish, Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Durham, and Author of the major cross-disciplinary book ‘Faith & Wisdom in Science’
  • Dr Mick Collins, Tutor, School of Health Studies, University of East Anglia
  • John Maizels – editor or Raw Vision
  • Tim Balogun, Graduate of the Royal College of Art, also has directorships of three renowned UK-based creative organisations including GoldDust Arts, Community Focus, and Sculpture at Wat Tyler. He has exhibited his paintings all over the world.
  • James Brett – Museum and Gallery of Everything owner and curator
  • Dr Alan Rayner, Senior Lecturer in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath
  • David Lorimer, Programme Director of the Scientific & Medical Network (SMN) and Executive Vice-President of the Wrekin Trust – a charity concerned with adult spiritual education.
  • Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman  MBE Professor of Applied Music at The University of Winchester and Extraordinary Professor at North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa.
  • Degard FRSA has created a collection of more than 100 paintings of iconic individuals called ‘an aetheric collection’. This series of paintings captures the Aura Pure (AP). The AP in Degard’s work she hopes will unlock a keystone to our understanding of consciousness.

Degard has also recently self-published her book entitled ‘The First Book of Aethericism’ which articulates this new movement – uniting the arts, science and the divine. This book contains high quality prints of paintings by Degard and descriptions of the new movement to be called Aethericism unless the Symposium decides otherwise. A website showing the paintings can be found at

Degard explains what she hopes will come out of the symposium:

“There is a desperate need to put the truth – the fascinating questions and answers, deep into the fabric of society: into the arts, sciences and in theology.  Somehow the aetheric has been woven out to our enormous cost. We all know this, often bemoaning it. But the hard, and now burning question is, how can we change things?”

Shocking concepts have already pierced through the academic haze as to why we are missing so much information.:

“…. most biological thought continues conceptually to be Newtonian. I am not aware of any orthodox biologist who has been prepared publicly to question the assumptions of classical or modern mathematics and physics. My own efforts to do so, … were generally met with profound ‘cognitive dissonance’ (Alan Rayner in email conversation with other influencers)

The aim of the symposium would be to break open ‘questioning’ in the first instance in science, to include aetheric thinking without fear of being shamed within the arts, and work with theologians to integrate the aetheric into religious thought. The effect of this on society would be exhilarating.”

For Degard media enquiries please contact:
Miles Clayton
Agility PR
Tel: 01992 587439

RSA Symposium Press Release 16 January 2018

One of the outcomes from the Symposium was this blog piece on ‘Aethericising the Curriculum’.

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This is an ongoing issue. If you would like to comment on this please do so on the RSA website