Psychical researchers have always struggled to gain acceptance as solid member of the mainstream scientific community. But, believe it or not, there are plenty of mainstream scientists who believe Psi abilities exist and that consciousness survives the death of the body. Unfortunately, throughout history, many have not been able to express those beliefs because they fear they would lose credibility and respect among their peers and colleagues. Not to mention their financial backing.
However, this mentality appears to be changing, slightly. Some mainstream scientists are beginning to take notice of Psi research and are realizing that this field of inquiry may have real scientific merit after all. Basically, mainstream scientists are coming out of the closet.
If psychical research is accepted into the mainstream, how should it be classified? Some would argue that because cultural and spiritual beliefs are involved, it should be classified as a Social Science. I am one of these people. While others would argue that physics, especially theoretical physics, is involved and that psychical research should be classified as a hard science. I can see this as well.
However psychical research is classified, it pales in comparison to the fact that psychical research is one step closer to being accepted into the mainstream. The hard work and dedication of researchers over the past 130 years is on the verge of getting the respect they deserve.