Overview of RGCSA

The RGCSA is an independent research body, which has been set up to monitor standards of research in astrology and promote the use of sound scientific methods in empirical studies. They aim to stimulate and facilitate the critical study of astrology as judged by the disciplines of social statistics, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies, and to provide the basis for inter-university and international collaboration on research into astrology.

Originally funded by the Sophia Trust, it is now supported by private donations. Its’ Convenor is Dr. Pat. Harris, editor emeritus of the research journal in astrology Correlation.

Astrology is an ancient discipline, one that still has a considerable role in many eastern countries, such as India. In western thought, astrology occupied an important role in theology, science and philosophy until the mid-seventeenth century. Today the critical study of astrology in the west has importance in relation to popular culture and is of considerable interest for historians, sociologists, social scientists, anthropologists and archaeologists.

Research Grants for the Critical Study of Astrology holds a neutral position with regard to astrology’s claims. We consider that the traditional claims of astrology are open to rigorous investigation using a variety of methodologies. We are aware of the existence of studies which challenge astrology’s claims (as summarised in Culver and Ianna 1988) but also consider the work of modern scholars which has not found alternative explanations (e.g. Ertel & Irving, 1996, Eysenck, 1983; Gauquelin et al., 1979; Mayo et al., 1978; Roberts, 2001/2002, Smithers & Cooper, 1977; Silver et al., 1974; Tyson, 1984) to be of considerable interest. Relatively recent theories of the influence of planetary systems and conjunctions on the developing foetus or new-born child (e.g. McGillian, 2003, Seymour, 1992), are also noted with considerable interest as is the work of Robert Currey (2013) in his research into the suggested relationship between man and the planets and recurring patterns in the Cosmos and in nature. The RGCSA is also interested both in sceptical criticisms of the assumptions of astrology in the field of personality (e.g., Kelly, 1997) and of critiques of the use of scientific method in relation to astrology (e.g., Cornelius 1994, see also Elwell 1999).