What is scientific materialism of the mind as it takes place in the modern university? Buy an fMRI machine. Then get a crane and install this heavy piece of equipment in your department; then you can write lots of grants under the rubric of neuroscience.
Neuroscience, a species of scientific materialism, the way I see it, turns out to be persuasion by really neat and colorful images of the human brain. But this is all third-person knowledge (i.e., knowledge that excludes a knower) where by contrast, Zen Buddhism is all about first-person knowledge which cannot be reduced to third-person knowledge without significant cognitive loss. And that is not good.
If we wish to explore the possibility of a connection between the two kinds of knowledge, maybe we have to look more at von Neumann's mysterious chain where matter gives way to mind which then becomes the privileged position (the measurement chain ends only when knowledge of the measurement is registered by an extra-physical factor).
“The problem, especially for the physicalist, is that no physical device can break the von Neumann chain because all physical devices are links in the chain. Even the physical brain of the physicalist is just another physical link in the von Neumann chain. The break in the chain that is sought cannot be a physical part of the physical chain” (Science and the Eastern Orthodox Church p. 86, edited by Professor Gayle Woloschak, Professor Daniel Buxhoeveden).
But academe is a long way off from letting the extra-physical mind (i.e., the knower) take over center stage. Scientific materialism is dying out but it is not completely dead. Its somewhat like the Maoist generation in modern China. They are not dead but their stubbornness and lack of vision are still with China holding it back.