The Global Consciousness Project

What is the nature of Global Consciousness?

Introduction to GCP

We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn't any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work.

— Richard Feynman In his Nobel Lecture, 1966

This page was originally composed in early 1998 but it is still a good description of what the project is about. Since the project is dynamic, you will find up-to-date information distributed in various pages, especially the current Results page and various links from it. You may also wish to look at a brief overview for an introduction to the technology and our Media information page for a description of publication policies.

The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) is an international effort involving researchers from several institutions and countries, designed to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement. The project builds on excellent experiments conducted over the past 35 years at a number of laboratories, demonstrating that human consciousness interacts with random event generators (REGs), apparently causing them to produce non-random patterns. A description of the technical implementation is given under procedures.

The experimental results clearly show that a broader examination of this phenomenon is warranted. In recent work, prior to the Global Consciousness Project, an array of REG devices in Europe and the US showed non-random activity during widely shared experiences of deeply engaging events. For example, the funeral ceremonies for Princess Diana, and the international Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, created shared emotions and a coherence of consciousness that appeared to be correlated with structure in the otherwise random data. In the fully developed project, a world-spanning array of labile REG detectors is connected to computers running software to collect data and send it to a central server via the internet. This network is designed to document and display any subtle, but direct effects of our collective consciousness reacting to global events. The research hypothesis predicts the appearance of coherence and structure in the globally distributed data collected during major events that engage the world population.

Displays of the data take various forms, including some that show the real-time activity as nearly as possible. Available now are regularly updated tables of statistical information as well as simple and easily understood graphical summaries of several kinds. For example, a graph may show the cumulative deviation of data sequences from their expected values as a composite across all the GCP sites around the world for the past hour or the past day or, say, for the engaging moment of a semi-final shootout in World Cup Soccer. One of the display modes is a movie, with music based on the data, represented within a global map showing regional concentrations of large and small deviations using dynamic color coding. Depending on contributions of skilled programming, more complex analyses of relationships among the sites will be developed, using, among others, techniques developed for studying brain activity.

Although information will be presented with the scientific rigor that is required for accuracy and clarity, the site is intended also to have a strong artistic and aesthetic presence, We expect to use music and dynamic images both for background and for display of information, and we will provide links to a variety of articles and scholarly resources. We believe important aspects of the project may be represented in stories, poetry and philosophy, including selected readings from Henri Bergson, Teilhard de Chardin, Carl Jung, and others who have thought deeply about consciousness. For example, one of the guiding models for this project is Teilhard's idea of a Noosphere, or layer of intelligence enveloping the earth, and his description of mankind's evolution toward a destiny to fulfill that role. While this metaphor is more spiritual than scientific, it provides a very interesting interpretive background (one of several that we may consider) for our specific scientific questions. A few examples of aesthetic expressions of the project's philosophy and mission are given in our poetic history. Even the scientific data sometimes create immediately meaningful pictures, as in the beautifully symmetrical traces that appear to note the death of Barry Fenn, our friend and REG host in New Zealand.

If you are interested in contributing in some way to the Project, contact the GCP. More specific information on how you can help is available in a brief description of options. Money is needed for equipment and operating costs, of course, but other forms of contribution, such as time and creativity using programming or analytical skills might be very helpful. Most important, your interest, good will, and spiritual support are needed and are deeply appreciated.

We should note that the Global Consciousness Project has another name that is used often in documents and descriptions on the website. During the development phase it was called the EGG network, and this acronym is the basis for a convenient nomenclature used by the planning group, as is described more fully in the conceptual plan for the project.