Publish or perish
Firstly, apologies for not adding to this blog for a while. Until recently there has been no further news on the AWARE study to report. However, an update has recently appeared on the Horizon website with a direct quote from the principal investigator of the study, Dr. Sam Parnia, in which he says that the results of the AWARE study have been submitted to a peer reviewed journal for publication.
This is obviously of interest to all those who have been following this research project since it was first announced back in 2008, however I am skeptical as to whether any paper will have more to say than the poster which was presented at the American heart foundation in November. My reason for this is that from my experience of working in medical research in the field of HIV, the route for getting data into the public domain is firstly to present at scientific congresses, and then write a paper based on these findings, with added analysis and discussion. It is rare that truly ground breaking results are revealed in the literature which have not already been hinted at previously. I hope I am wrong, but at this stage, given the poster, and given the book Dr. Parnia published last year, I am going to err on the side of caution and predict that the paper will not provide a validated OBE.
If the result is negative from the perspective of validating NDEs, then the hypothesis I propose in Aware of Aware will remain unproven. It will not have been entirely disproven as the study is still ongoing, and arguably the hypothesis is a working hypothesis that was at the mercy of original the methodology of the AWARE study, which appears to have been improved recently. It may be that subsequent presentations of data from this study provide the much sort after “smoking gun” of a validated OBE.
Once again, I commend Dr. Parnia for his efforts in this highly interesting area of research, and look forward to seeing the paper once it has been published (this may be several months from now due to the peer review process).