Dr Barry Beyerstein, 1947 - 2007

In June Dr Barry Beyerstein, a member of the BCMA’s Allied Health and Alternative Therapies Committee, passed away while at work. Dr Beyerstein obtained his PhD in psychology from UC Berkeley and later took a posting at Simon Fraser University. Once ranked as BC’s most cited intellectual, he enjoyed an international reputation as an expert on human cognitive and perceptual errors. His insights in these areas allowed him to speak with authority on pseudoscience and its various manifestations.

Dr Beyerstein was a leader of the BC Society for Skeptical Enquiry and the International Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), as well as being an elected member of the Council for Scientific Medicine. His interest in debunking popular myths—from handwriting analysis to UFOs, ESP, and alternative medicine—generated great media interest. He was frequently sought for his ability and willingness to tackle tough questions and offer scientific explanations for arcane topics. In 2002, in recognition of his ability to communicate scientific analysis to a broad social audience, he was awarded SFU’s annual president’s award for service in media and public relations.

Most importantly, Barry was a genuinely gracious, kind, and generous person. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends.

—Lloyd Oppel, MD, Vancouver


Lloyd Oppel, MD, MHSc, FCFP(Em). Dr Barry Beyerstein, 1947 - 2007. BCMJ, Vol. 49, No. 10, December, 2007, Page(s) 554 - Obituaries.

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Paul Gilbert says: reply

Dr Barry Beyerstein, was a amazing professor whose dedication to teaching were clearly evident in all of his lectures and interactions with students. Barry could always be counted on to provide students with insights worth remembering in every one of his lectures. He was a kind and generous man who will be greatly missed.

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