Roger D. Nelson was the director of the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), an international, multi-laboratory collaboration founded in 1997 which aimed to study collective consciousness. From 1980 to 2002, he was Coordinator of Research at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory at Princeton University. His professional focus was the study of consciousness and intention and the role of mind in the physical world. His work integrates science and spirituality, including research that is directly focused on numinous communal experiences.
Nelson began using random event generator (REG) technology in the field to study effects of special states of group consciousness. This led to the GCP, a globally distributed network of REGs around the world sending data continuously over the Internet to a server in Princeton, NJ. The network is designed to register indications of a hypothesised global consciousness responding to major world events such as 9/11/2001, the beginnings of war, or New Year's Eve.