Deepak Chopra, Science & Wikipedia

Commentary by William C. Bushell, PhD

 

Testimonial

Whether or not I share all of his views, I consider Deepak Chopra to be a legitimate figure in the medical and scientific field.  As a member of the scientific community I do not endorse the claim that Deepak Chopra must be dismissed or condemned by that group.  I am familiar with examples of Deepak Chopra’s work that are, to my knowledge, as well supported and valuable as those of many other accepted figures in science.

Signed,

  • Steven R. Steinhubl, MD, Director, Digital Medicine, Scripps Translational Science Institute
  • Stanley A. Klein, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience at UC Berkeley
  • Stuart Hammeroff, MD, Director of Center for Consciousness Studies, Emeritus Professor: Department of Anesthesiology, Emeritus Professor: Department of Psychology
  • Menas Kafatos, PhD, Professor, Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics, Director, Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations, Schmid College of Science and Technology; Physics, Computational Science and Engineering
  • Neil Theise, MD,Professor of Pathology and of Medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Pim van Lommel, MD, Cardiology, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, University of Utrecht
  • Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Joseph. P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Vice-Chair, Department of Neurology, Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Bernardo Kastrup, PhD (Computer Engineering), CERN (formerly), Philips Research Laboratories (formerly) Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Sheila Patel, MD, Director, Mind Body Medical Group
  • Paul J. Mills, PhD, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health, Director/Clinical Research Biomarker Laboratory, Co-Director, Translational Research Technologies, Clinical and Translational Research Institute, University of California, San Diego

 

Personal Statements

 

Several scientists wrote personal statements about their thoughts on Dr. Chopra:

 

Happy and proud to have teamed with Deepak Chopra on this.  Science is more than a collection of facts!

Frank Wilczek, PhD

Nobel Prize in Physics

MIT Professor of Physics

 

“The first time I had the opportunity to work on a research project with Deepak I was impressed by his desire to generate objective data but also concerned that he might be interested in only those results that supported his expectations.  As the study progressed and we started reviewing results I was very happy to find Deepak to be as evidence-focused and open-minded as any other academic researcher I’ve ever worked with, and in fact more so than many.  Over time my respect for Deepak as a scientist has only grown.  His very non-mainstream focus and the challenging questions he raises and seeks to answer can understandably cause others to question his motivations but having worked with him now on several projects I recognize Deepak as a wonderful scientific collaborator of the highest integrity and credibility.”

Steven R. Steinhubl, MD

Director, Digital Medicine

Scripps Translational Science Institute

 

“I support the efforts to endorse Deepak's authenticity, integrity, and scientific credibility.

1. Deepak is a major figure responsible for some of the highest levels of science in a number of important fields (e.g. integrative medicine/CAM, consciousness studies) that don't get the general kind of support they should;

2.  He does so by using his personal connections, media and financial resources to support interdisciplinary discussions between diverse interested scholars, philosophers, scientists and healers to explore these areas;

3. He is catalysing science and research with leading scientists at high levels of academic achievement and productivity, often by helping to bypass funding and bureaucratic obstacles with his own organizational structures and relationships;

4. He participates in these activities not only as leader and catalyst, but also as accomplished and insightful participant to study design and data analysis.”

Pim van Lommel, MD

Cardiology

Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem

University of Utrecht

The Netherlands

 

“Deepak is a trained physician-scientist with encyclopedic knowledge of medicine, science, the vedanta, and mind-body topics, many of which he first introduced to the world. He has already profoundly helped tens of millions of people to live fuller and healthier lives with his books, lectures, and articles. Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed being is co-author of the New York Time best seller Super Brain and upcoming Super Genes.  I have also immensely enjoyed and benefitted from being his scientific collaborator studying the effects of meditation and lifestyle on quantifiable aspects of health of and well being, including gene expression, inflammatory markers, telomerase, etc. This includes collaboration with some of the brightest scientific minds on the planet including Nobel laureates and top-tier geneticists. 

Deepak is also one of the brightest men I have ever met. His mission to introduce consciousness over materialism as the main substrate of the universe was one first started by the great quantum physicists of the 20th century and ancient rishi’s thousands of years before that. I believe that someday, when it becomes obvious to the world that we do not live in some magical giant material box called a universe with material trinkets floating around in it, but, rather, that all is perceived in consciousness via models that fit the specific sensory systems of of each species, Deepak’s critics, many of whom are the staunchest defenders of a material world, will look like toddlers insisting on the existence of Santa Claus. Like those who criticized Galileo, Deepak’s harshest critics are largely close-minded individuals, who are, perhaps, most threatened and fearful of discovering the true nature of the universe and our existence.”

Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.
Joseph. P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology,
Harvard Medical School
Vice-Chair, Department of Neurology, Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit,
Massachusetts General Hospital

 

“As my thinking about the underlying nature of reality matured beyond uncritical endorsement of physicalism, I've realized that Deepak Chopra's views of nature and healthcare are far more reasonable, logical and empirically honest than I ever dared suspect before. I believe many of his critics conflate their dislike of his communication style with his philosophical and scientific views. This leads to partial, distorted, highly prejudiced assessments. When one critically -- but honestly -- seeks to understands the essence of Deepak Chopra's messages, one may find, to one's own surprise, ideas that not only hold the potential to solve many of the problems faced in philosophy of science and mind today, but which also point to promising avenues of healthcare that have been lost to modern Western culture. In a society increasingly beset by hysterical cynicism presented in the guise of skepticism, acknowledging that Deepak Chopra may have been essentially right all along may be an impossible pill to swallow for many of the self-appointed guardians of "reason" today. But if true reason and empirical honesty are to prevail over image and pride, this is an inevitable admission.”

Bernardo Kastrup, Phd (Computer Engineering)

CERN (formerly)

Philips Research Laboratories (formerly)

Eindhoven, The Netherlands


 

Scientific Works & Collaborations

 

 Below is a master list of many of the experts who have either collaborated or cooperated with Dr. Chopra on various projects, whether in research or conferences. 

1)    

Aniraban Bandyopadhyay, PhD

2)    

Bernardo Kastrup, PhD

3)    

Donald Hoffman PhD

4)    

Elissa Epel, PhD

5)    

Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD*

6)    

Erhard Seiler, PhD

7)    

Eric Schadt, PhD

8)    

Eric Topol, PhD

9)    

Frank Wilczek, PhD*

10) 

Henry Stapp, PhD

11) 

Joel Primack, PhD

12) 

Josephine P Briggs, MD

13) 

Keith Black, MD

14) 

Menas Kafatos, PhD

15) 

Murali Doraiswamy, MD

16) 

Nancy Abrams, JD

17) 

Neil Theise, MD

18) 

Paul Mills, PhD

19) 

Pim van Lommel, MD

20) 

Rudolph Tanzi, PhD

21) 

Sheila Patel, MD

22) 

Stanley Klein, PhD

23) 

Steven Steinhubel, MD

24) 

Stuart Hameroff, MD

25) 

Thomas Insel, MD 

26) 

VA Shiva Ayyadurai, PhD

27) 

Hans Peter Durr (deceased)

28) 

Henry Stapp, PhD

29) 

Dimitar Sasselov, PhD

30) 

Amit Goswami, PhD

31) 

Bernard Haisch, PhD

32) 

Bruce Rosenblum, PhD

33) 

Candace Pert (deceased)

34) 

Daniel Siegel, MD

35) 

Dean Ornish, MD

36) 

Dean Radin, PhD

37) 

Elisabet Sahtouris, PhD

38) 

Elizabeth Thompson

Fred Kuttner, PhD

40) 

Keith Black, MD

41) 

Subhash Kak, PhD

42) 

Lothar Schafer, PhD

43) 

Michio Kaku, PhD

* = Nobel Laureate

 

Dr. Chopra is presently Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, a Fellow in the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He has taught at both Tufts and Boston University schools of medicine, and was Chief of Staff at New England Memorial Hospital.

 

In addition, Dr. Chopra’s recent collaborators and projects, especially in the last 4-5 years or so, include some of the world’s most esteemed scientists designing the most extensive, rigorous scientific research projects. The Chopra Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to these researchers and their projects, and Dr. Chopra is frequently a co-designer of the research, and co-author of the papers.

 

Two major scientists who have collaborated with Dr. Chopra on notable projects include:

 

·       

Nobel Prize winner MIT Professor of Physics Frank Wilczek, PhD, recently co-authored with Deepak Chopra MD a piece on key scientific and “aesthetic” or consciousness dimensions of the foundational physics principles of symmetry and exuberance, covered in the San Francisco Chronicle and on Huffington Post.  The Nobel Laureate Wilczek has, moreover, unequivocally endorsed Deepak Chopra as a thinker and scientist by claiming on his twitter page that he is “happy and proud to have teamed with Deepak Chopra” on their co-authored piece.

 

·       

Elissa Epel, PhD, Director of the Aging, Metabolism and Emotion Center at UCSF cites Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP along with the celebrated biologist Hans Selye, MD as two of the major influences on her development as a scientist in the field of “mind-body medicine.”

 

Many other scientists in various fields have collaborated with Dr. Chopra on projects, the subjects in which these research and other projects are conducted are in (1) meditation, behavioral medicine, Ayurveda, and health, (2) consciousness and neuroscience, and, relatedly (substantially overlapping), (3) the role of consciousness in physics and cosmology. A very brief, non-exhaustive list of those who he has been supporting and/or collaborating with, listed according to the above categories, include:

 

 

 

Meditation, behavioral medicine, Ayurveda, and health

Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, Nobel Prize laureate in medicine

Eric Schadt, PhD, Founding Director of the billion-dollar Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology

Eric Topol, MD, Director of the Scripps Research Institute of Translational Science, and Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health

Steven R. Steinhubl, MD, Director, Digital Medicine, Scripps Translational Science Institute

 

 

 

Consciousness and neuroscience

Stuart Hameroff, MD, Founding Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, close collaborator with Sir Roger Penrose on consciousness and quantum physics

Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, endowed Professor of Neurology and Director of Genetics and Aging, at Harvard Medical School

Donald Hoffman, PhD, Professor of Cognitive Science, Computer Science, and Philosophy at UC Irvine, and National Academy of Sciences award winner

 

 

 

Consciousness in physics and cosmology

Henry Stapp, PhD, Lawrence Berkeley national Laboratory, historic figure in quantum physics who worked closely with Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, and John Archibald Wheeler

Joel Primack, PhD, Professor of Physics, and Director, High-Performance AstroComputing System, University of California

Menas Kafatos, PhD, Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University, a leading MIT-trained contemporary quantum physicist, cosmologist, computer scientist, and mathematician

Frank Wilczek, PhD, Nobel Prize-winning Professor of Physics at MIT

Ruth Kastner, MS (Physics) PhD (Philosophy), University of Maryland, College Park

Michio Kaku, Phd, theoretical physicist, author, co-founder of String Field Theory


 Scripps Research Institute is one of the largest, most prestigious research organizations in the world, have specialized in cutting-edge innovations in medicine and science since 1924.  The Deepak Chopra Foundation is working on important projects like SBTI with Scripps Translational Science division, and it is the reputability (and sustainability) of this world-class research which is being endangered by these extreme character attacks on Deepak Chopra.

The Self Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) is a pioneering, potentially revolutionary new scientific research study founded and Co-Directed by Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, of the Chopra Foundation, along with Co-Director Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of Genetics and Aging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

On the Scripps Translational Science Institute site, two Chopra Center collaborative studies, in conjunction with “UCSD, UCSF, Harvard and Mt. Sinai Hospital of New York,” are the featured studies for the section.

This set of studies is based on recent revolutionary discoveries in the relatively new scientific fields of epigenetics and genomics, which have demonstrated that genetic functioning is significantly more fluid and “plastic” than previously thought, and that genes are much more susceptible to influences of experience, emotion, and even consciousness itself. It has recently been demonstrated, for example, that through meditation and yoga the size and functional capacity of the brain may be significantly increased and enhanced.

 

Scripps

Link: http://www.stsiweb.org/translational_research/scripps_advanced_clinical_trials/

Trial Name:         Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative

Acronym:             SBTI

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier           

Primary Investigator:       Paul Mills, PhD

Sponsor:              UC San Diego

Collaborator:      Chopra Foundation, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, Mount Sinai Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital

Status:   Enrollment complete

Description:        This is a follow-up study of the DigMed2 study in collaboration with the Chopra Center, as well as UCSD, UCSF, Harvard and Mt. Sinai Hospital of New York. Individuals attending a “Perfect Health” retreat will undergo extensive testing and monitoring before and after the retreat in order to identify novel biomarkers of stress and its improvement. For the mobile health arm of the study individuals will wear a MultiSense wireless patch for one week before and one month after the retreat.

Enrollment Contact:        Enrollment is closed at this time.

 

Trial Name:         Digital Medicine in Meditation

Acronym:             DigiMed2

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:          NCT01975415

Primary Investigator:       Steven Steinhubl, MD

Sponsor:              Scripps Digital Medicine / Scripps Translational Science Institute

Collaborator:      Chopra Foundation, Emotiv, Sotera, VitalConnect

Status:   Completed

Description:        The first study of its kind made possible through the use of 3 different innovative, wireless technologies. The study involved intensive monitoring of 40 meditators using wireless EEG, continuous blood pressure, ECG, and many more to determine the acute effects of meditation on brain and cardiovascular response. Highlighting both the challenges and capabilities of using wireless technologies the study participants generated ~1,000,000 data points per minute.

Enrollment Contact:        Enrollment is closed at this time.

 

Please see immediately below the full listing of personnel and the full academic titles of the 3 teams – from Harvard, Icahn-Mt Sinai, UCSF/UCSD, and Scripps – whose work is being supervised and integrated by collaborators and Co-Chairs Doctors Chopra and Tanzi.

 

1) Genetic BioMarkers and Gene Activity

Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of Genetics and Aging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Eric Schadt, PhD, Director, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology; Chairman and Professor, Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

 

2) Blood-Based Markers of Cellular Aging

Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, Nobel Prize, Medicine/Physiology (2009), Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco

Elissa Epel, PhD, Director, the Aging, Metabolism and Emotion Center, University of California at San Francisco 

Paul J Mills, PhD, Director, UC San Diego Clinical Research Biomarker Laboratory, and Co-director, the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute’s Translational Research Technology (TRT) Laboratories Program; Professor, Division of Behavioral Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine

 

3)  General Physical and Heart Health

Eric Topol, MD, Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine; Professor of Genomics Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Scripps Research Institute,

California Campus, La Jolla CA

Steven R Steinhubl, MD, Director, Digital Medicine, the Scripps Translational Science Institute, La Jolla, CA

 

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASES FROM SCRIPPS

https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4650-wireless-sensors-used-to-study-meditation-s-effect-on-heart-health/news-release

https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4650-wireless-sensors-used-to-study-meditation-s-effect-on-heart-health

https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4650-wireless-sensors-used-to-study-meditation-s-effect-on-heart-health/video

The last link above, in which Doctors Topol and Steinhubl discuss the revolutionary nature of this study, is an example of the dedication to high standards Wikipedia claims Dr. Chopra ignores, as he references his dedication to “work with the best” scientists.