Brief biographies of authors
Abstract -- Brief biographies of Hubert Basler, T Patrick Davis, Geoffrey Dean, Suitbert Ertel, Jacques Halbronn, David Hamblin, Ivan Kelly, Bart Koene, Alan Leo, Arthur Mather, David Nias, Peter Niehenke, Garry Phillipson, Rudolf Smit, and Koen Van de moortel. Each biography averages 50-150 words and most of them include a photograph.
The above pictures show the five main researchers featured on this website. Left, Arthur Mather (Scotland). Right, Ivan Kelly (Canada). Centre, a meeting with Professor Hans Eysenck (1916-1997) and Dr David Nias in November 1996 at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. From left to right are Nias, Rudolf Smit (Netherlands), Geoffrey Dean (Australia), Suitbert Ertel (Germany), and Eysenck.
Dr Hubert Basler. An eminent German statistician whose textbook Grundbegriffe der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung und Statistischen Methodenlehre [Basic concepts in probability and statistical methods] is in its 11th printing.
T Patrick Davis (1927-2001) started her astrological teaching career early in 1960. She was Founder and Past President of the Illinois Federation of Astrologers and was a past Board Member of both the Academy of Science and the Astronomy Society. She joined the AFA Faculty in 1972 shortly before publishing her first book Astrologer's Condensed Manual, which became an instant hit (perhaps helped by her male-sounding name, which she had devised in order to improve the chances of her work being accepted). Late in 1974 she retired from her astrological counselling practice, her bookstore, and all public astrological activity to pursue astrological research, which in 1979 until her death in January 2001 focussed on heliocentric astrology. Her projects included explorations of retrograde and stationary planets, sexual assaults, missing children, inventors, victims, criminals, financial markets, politics, degree areas, and astrological techniques. In 1991 she received the Aquarius Workshops Robert Carl Jansky Award for research and leadership. Picture is from Mercury Hour October 1983 page 51.
Dr Geoffrey Dean. Co-compiler with Arthur Mather of the book Recent Advances in Natal Astrology: A Critical Review 1900-1976. Since 1974 he has conducted large-scale studies of astrology, and has authored or co-authored many critical articles, debates, surveys, and prize competitions for research into astrology. He has been a full-time astrologer and was the founding president of the Federation of Australian Astrologers in Western Australia. Noted for his humorous lectures profusely illustrated with slides. In 1988 he received a Commemorative Bi-Centennial Award from the Astrological Monthly Review (Australia) for his contributions to astrological research. In 2003 he was elected a CSICOP Fellow for significant contributions to science and skepticism. In 2005 the November issue of AMR was dedicated to Dean, a "researcher who is brave enough to ask awkward questions". He is a British freelance technical writer and editor living in Perth, Western Australia.
Professor Emeritus Dr Suitbert Ertel. The world's leading investigator of Gauquelin planetary effects, on which he has authored many scientific articles including a bibliography of Gauquelin's publications, and co-authored with Kenneth Irving the book The Tenacious Mars Effect, Urania Trust, London 1996. Before his retirement he was Professor of Psychology at Georg-August University in Gottingen, Germany.
Dr Jacques Halbronn is one of France's most active scholars in astrology. His approach is interdisciplinary, as can be seen on the websites http://cura.free.fr and http://ramkat.free.fr. In 1975 he founded the Mouvement Astrologique Universitaire (MAU) and until 1995 he organised annual colloquia in France and overseas. Among many notable publications are two academic theses directly related to astrology (1979 and 1999), and his Guide de la Vie Astrologique, now in its 3rd edition (1997), a comprehensive listing of astrologers, authors, books, bookshops, courses, and journals in France and francophone countries.
David Hamblin MA DFAstrolS was a Council member of the Astrological Association during 1982 and 1983 and was its Chairman until late 1985. His book Harmonic Charts: A New Dimension in Astrology was published in 1983 by Aquarian Press.
Professor Ivan W Kelly is Chairman of the Astrology Subcommittee of the USA-based Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, and author or co-author of over one hundred scientific or philosophical articles including many critical works on astrology, human judgement, and alleged lunar effects on behaviour. He is especially interested in the philosophical aspects of science. Since 1979 he has been Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Education at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Dr Bart Koene is a physicist and electrochemist at TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. His current research interest is corrosion. He has written several critical articles about New Age subjects and has a lively interest in philosophy.
Alan Leo (1860-1917) is generally acknowledged as the father of modern astrology. Through his magazine Modern Astrology (1895-1917), some thirty books such as Astrology for All (1901) and A Thousand and One Notable Nativitiers (1910, the first large collection of modern birth data), and his shilling horoscopes of mimeographed sheets stapled together (20,000 were sold in the first three years at a time when one shilling was about 4% of the average weekly wage), he converted a prediction-oriented tradition into a systematic method of psychological analysis with a strong spiritual basis that reflected his Theosophist views. In 1902 he founded the Society for Astrological Research, the first of its kind, but it lasted only one year. Modern astrology is difficult to imagine without Leo's profound interventions.
Arthur Mather. A self-taught student of astrology and co-ordinator of research for the UK Astrological Association 1971-1978. Co-compiler with Geoffrey Dean of Recent Advances in Natal Astrology: A Critical Review 1900-1976, the first book-length critical review of scientific research into astrology, which was facilitated by the scientific articles he bad retrieved while working as an information scientist. Collaborator with Dean since 1975 on critical articles, debates, surveys, and prize competitions for research into astrology. Their joint presentation at the AA Research Conference in 2004 reviewed 25 years of research progress. Received MSc in Information Science from City University, London. He is especially interested in the boundaries of science in relation to astrology and other paranormal claims. He lives near Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dr David Nias. Psychologist, co-author with Professor Hans Eysenck of Astrology Science or Superstition? (1982), which in 1984 appeared as a Pelican edition and by 1997 had been translated into seven languages. Co-author of reviews (1986 and 1997) of Eysenck's involvement in astrology. Presently a medical psychologist at the Royal London Hospital.
Dr Peter Niehenke studied mathematics, physics and psychology, and obtained his PhD in 1987 with his thesis Kritische Astrologie -- Zur erkenntnistheoretischen und empirisch-psychologischen Prufung ihres Anspruchs [Critical Astrology -- an epistemological and empirical psychological study], a scrutiny of astrology based on comparing birth charts with questionnaire responses for 3500 people, also published in book form by Aurum Verlag. From 1981 until 1991 he was President of Deutschen Astrologen-Verbandes (German Astrologers Association), and also ran the DAV research centre in Freiburg. He is an astrologer, psychotherapist, and publisher of an officially-licensed correspondence course for the training of professional astrologers.
Garry Phillipson. Graduated in philosophy from the University of East Anglia. Subsequently studied Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and was a Buddhist monk during 1986-1993. His ground-breaking book Astrology in the Year Zero, Flare, London 2000, studies the practice, philosophy and assumptions of astrology. He is currently working on a PhD in astrology at Bath Spa University College.
Rudolf Smit. Secretary of the late Professor H J Eysenck's Committee for Objective Research into Astrology, founding editor and typesetter of what is now Astrologie in Onderzoek [Astrology under Scrutiny], and editor and typesetter 1992-1999 of Correlation, the journal of research into astrology. Originally an amateur astronomer and author of a popular textbook on photographic optics. A practising astrologer 1972-1984 and author of many articles and studies on astrology including De Planeten Spreken: De werkelijkheid achter de astrologie [The planets speak: the reality behind astrology] Fidessa, Bussum, 1975. In 1988 he received a Commemorative Bi-Centennial Award from the Astrological Monthly Review (Australia) for his contributions to astrology. Until late 2000 he was editor and translator for one of the Netherlands' leading technological institutes. He is the initiator and webmaster of this website.
Koen Van de moortel lives in Ghent, Belgium. He has an MSc in physics and is a writer of astrological and scientific software. In 1989 he founded the Belgian study group The Round Table to improve communication between scientists and practitioners in fringe areas. His multilingual website www.astrovdm.com is perhaps the only individual astrologer website that is critical and research-oriented.