The policies and direction of the SMN, are the responsibility of a Board of up to eight Directors. The directors are chosen by being recommended by subscription members of the SMN at their members AGM, which takes place at the Annual Gathering in July. The Board then ratifies new directors. Board meetings are also attended by the Network Manager, Company Secretary, Treasurer, Programme Director, and Communications and Fundraising Manager. The SMN is a charity which was founded in 1973, and then became a charitable company limited by guarantee, at the beginning of 2004.
Paul Filmore, PhD, MBA, MInstPhys, CPhys, FHEA, FRSA
Chairman of the Board
Paul lectures in personal and professional development, entrepreneurship, electronics and business management, predominantly to postgraduates at the University of Plymouth, after having been a research physicist for many years. His current research is in creativity and break-through problem solving both for the individual and organisations. He gives talks around the world and is a regular judge for international innovation competitions. He also runs an educational consultancy. He always looks for opportunities to incorporate the spiritual aspect in his research talks, workshops and teaching.
He has a very great interest in all areas of education and with his wife Catherine, jointly ran the original Network student ‘Wider Horizons’ course, for many years. He has been active in the Network for over forty years, since meeting George Blaker and Peter Leggett as an undergraduate, and attending the very first Wider Horizons course. A few years later he became a trustee of the SMN, at George Blaker’s request, and has been until summer 2015, when he switched roles to be chairman.
Richard Irwin, BA(Hons), MIoD
Richard Irwin is an entrepreneurial and professional director, consultant and IT Due Diligence practitioner with a passion for reconciling science with spirituality (see danceineternity.com), who also composes and arranges music (see hymnswithoutwords.com). Richard was an Internet pioneer in the 1990’s, writing what was possibly the first on-line hotel reservation system in 1995. The technology he built was used by companies such as Travelocity and Lastminute.com for hotel availability for many years. Since 2005 he has worked as a technology due diligence consultant providing strategic reviews of company ICT systems and technology.
Richard has responsibility for driving forward the SMN’s new web strategy.
Paul Kieniewicz, BSc and MA Astronomy, MSc Geophysics
Board Director & Deputy Chairman
George Blaker, a founder of the SMN expressed the purpose of the organization : To win greater acceptance by science and medicine of man’s spiritual essence; to show that this is wholly consistent with current knowledge of the physical chemistry of his physical body. For many years this has been my life work, expressed through my writing and lecturing. I hold advanced degrees in Astronomy and in Geophysics. For twenty years I worked in the oil and gas industry as a specialist of the Earth’s gravity and magnetic field. Other interest are the human biological field, the Gaia Theory and Gnostic Christianity. I am also a practitioner of non-contact healing and live in Aberdeenshire on four acres which is becoming a lush bio-diverse garden. I am the co-author (with Andrew Glazewski) of Harmony of the Universe and science fiction novels Gaia’s Children and Immortality Machine. Currently the Web Content Editor for the SMN website and co-editor of the Network Review. For more information see my website: paulkieniewicz.co.uk.
Dave is a third year graduate medical student at King’s College London with a research interest in non-ordinary states of consciousness and psychedelic-assisted psychiatry. He completed his undergraduate degree in Medical Anthropology at the University of Kent in 2011. Dave is a founding co-director of Breaking Convention and programme chair for their biennial international conference on psychedelic consciousness, as well as the founding President of the King’s College Society for Psychedelic Studies and commissioning editor of the Psychedelic Press journal. He co-directs the Public Engagement Programme in Drug Assisted Psychotherapies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, and is the marketing director for the KCL Neuroscience Society. In 2008 he founded the award-winning Psychedelics Society at the University of Kent. He has previously worked as a researcher in immunology at the National University of Singapore, a haemodialysis assistant for the NHS and as assistant to Amanda Fielding at the Beckley Foundation. At Beckley, he was signatory liaison officer for a public letter signed by 60 former heads of state, Nobel laureates and public figures. Dave has been involved in the organisation of conferences and lecture series at the University of Kent, University of Greenwich, King’s College London, National University of Singapore and the House of Lords. He is the co-editor of two books, with a third in press, and author of a number of journal articles, book chapters, open letters and literary pieces.
David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA
Director of the Scientific and Medical Network from 1986-2000. He is now Programme Director and continues to edit the Review. He is author and editor of over a dozen books, most recently ‘Radical Prince: the Practical Vision of the Prince of Wales’, ‘Science, Consciousness and Ultimate Reality’ ‘A New Renaissance’ and ‘The Protein Crunch’ (with Jason Drew). He is a Fellow of the International Futures Forum, Chief Consultant of Character Scotland, President of Wrekin Trust and a former President of the Swedenborg Society. He was educated at Eton and the Universities of St Andrews and Cambridge. After a spell in merchant banking, he spent a number of years teaching modern languages and philosophy at Winchester College.
Jacqueline Nielsen, BA, BL
Educated at Trinity College Dublin and the Kings Inns. Spent two decades working in business before realising an earlier ambition in being called to the Irish bar in 1987 Jacqueline runs the SMN Irish Group and since joining the Board has taken on the responsibility for co-ordinating the national and local groups. Her reasons for joining the Network:
“I am an enthusiastic member of SMN because I have found that its academic range and its ethos exactly correspond to my personal intellectual interests and approach. I have found within it a milieu which combines intellectual rigour with openmindedness and good fellowship, almost a spiritual home.”
Tuvi Orbach, BSc. MBA
Profile: Purpose: To inspire people enhancing their life: To develop, implement and promote, methods, knowledge, products and solutions which enhance self awareness, open minded, well-being, and quality of life. To help people know and better understand their whole-selves, their relationships, their purpose, empowering them to improve their health, well-being and potential, and to achieve their goals, so enjoying a longer, healthier, happier enhanced fulfilled and meaningful life.
To contribute to global mind change and promote a new paradigm that enhances mainstream science to include consciousness, and spirituality and creates bridges between business and values, between conventional medicine and integrated holistic health, and inspires people to be more open minded and enjoy meaningful life.
Entrepreneur, established and managed several companies (one public in NASDAQ one in the London Stock Exchanged and 3 private, and software incubator which created tens companies.) in the areas of software, health, psychology and well-being.
Founder of www.tohealth.com and www.mindLife.co.uk and Managing Trustee of an educational charity www.help2help.org.uk Director of Scientific and Medical Network domain – communication and content of the website.
Nicholas Pilbrow, Chartered Accountant
Nicholas is a Chartered Accountant and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. He has many years of experience in venture capital and corporate finance & structure and has acted as finance director for a number of client companies. He is a partner in Robert Fraser & Partners (2000 – to date), a boutique corporate finance house where he has been involved in the organization of finance, corporate structure and management of marine, power, management consultancy, hotel and media projects. He is the CFO of the Be Energy Group of companies (2010 – to date), which is an environmentally restorative group of companies, using a triple bottom line basis of operation which combines profitability, social justice and environmental sustainability. He is also a founder of web based companies Positive TV and Earth 2 which provides a platform for cutting edge technologies for a sustainable future.
Nicholas is very interested in religion and philosophy and has always been interested in the relationship between science and spirituality; this is what attracted him to the SMN.
Joan Walton, PhD
Board Associate Director (Co-Opted)
Joan is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at York St John University, teaching Research Methods on the Masters programme, and supervising doctoral students. She is particularly interested in exploring the ontological and epistemological contexts within which approaches to research are located. This has led to her taking an active interest in the phenomenon of consciousness, which, to quote Christian de Quincey, is ‘our deepest mystery and our most intimate reality’.
Joan, in collaboration with colleagues from both western and eastern cultures, are researching different ways of understanding consciousness. This also leads to a meaningful dialogue about various interpretations of science and spirituality, the relationship between them, and the significance of this discussion for the ontological and epistemological foundations of social and educational research. She draws on a wide range of disciplines, including quantum physics, biology, transpersonal psychology, and diverse spiritual traditions, to inform her research.
Edi Bilimoria, PhD
Consultant to the Board
Born in India and educated at the universities of London, Sussex and Oxford, Dr. Edi Bilimoria presents an unusual blend of experience in the fields of science, arts and philosophy.
In science and engineering, Edi has worked as a Consultant to the petrochemical, oil and gas, aerospace, transport, and construction industries. He has been Project Manager and Head of Design for major innovative projects such as the Channel Tunnel, London Underground systems and offshore installations.
A student of the perennial philosophy for some forty years, Edi has given courses and lectured extensively in the UK, and internationally in California, The Netherlands, India and Australia. He has organized and chaired several major conferences. His written work has been published extensively in the fields of science, engineering and the esoteric philosophy. His book The Snake and the Rope was awarded the Network prize in 2008. He worked as Education Manager from 2009-11 for The Theosophical Society in Australia developing study courses and study papers, researching, lecturing and organizing international conferences. Additionally, he supervised the Campbell Theosophical Research Library, the National Media Library, the National Members Lending Library, and the development of the website. He is now deeply committed to the mission.
Oliver Robinson, PhD, MA, MSc
Consultant to the Board
I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Greenwich University, specialising in adult development. I have recently written a book called ‘Development through Adulthood‘, published by Palgrave Macmillan. I help out with marketing and communications for the Scientific and Medical Network. The Network provides a forum where I can discuss both scientific and spiritual ideas in an atmosphere of friendliness, criticality and open-mindedness. I believe that science is brilliant but limited, and that where its limitations are reached, we find that mystical and spiritual ways of being and knowing have their niche in the search for Truth. I meditate regularly, enjoy spiritual dance practices, and find sustenance in silence and prayer. I have co-edited a book with David Lorimer entitled A New Renaissance: Transforming Science, Spirit and Society, published by Floris Books. The material within the book covers many of the areas that I find fascinating: the nature of mind and consciousness, the question of what it means to be spiritual, and the nature of modernity and the ‘transmodern shift’ that we are currently experiencing.