West, D(onald) J(ames) (1924-)

views updated

West, D(onald) J(ames) (1924-)

Psychiatrist and parapsychologist. He was born on June 9, 1924, in Liverpool, England, and studied at Liverpool University (M.B., Ch.B., 1947; M.D., 1958). He did postgraduate work at London University (D.P.M., 1952) and Cambridge University, England (M.A., 1960). For many years he was the director of the Cambridge University Institute of Criminology. After his retirement in 1984, he was named professor emeritus of clinical criminology research.

He has been a long-time member of the Society for Psychical Research, London, having joined when he was only 17. He later served as its research officer (1947-49) and on two occasions as president (1963-65). With G. W. Fisk he carried out a set of experiments designed to show the effects of the experimenter on the results of ESP tests. In 1958 he and Fisk won the William McDougall Award for Distinguished Research in Parapsychology. He wrote a book on Lourdes, notable for its conclusion that miracles have not been proven to have occurred at the famous shrine. West has played an important part in British laboratory experiments in extrasensory perception.


Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. New York: Helix Press, 1964.

West, Donald J. Eleven Lourdes Miracles. London: Duck-worth, 1957.

. "The Identity of 'Jack the Ripper.' " Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 35 (1949).

. Psychical Research Today. London: Duckworth, 1956.

. "Psychokinetic Experiments with a Single Subject." Parapsychology Newsletter (November-December 1957).

West, Donald J., and G. W. Fisk. "ESP and Mood: Report of a 'Mass' Experiment with Clock Cards." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 38 (1956).

About this article

West, D(onald) J(ames) (1924-)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article


West, D(onald) J(ames) (1924-)