Marcello Truzzi Remembrance


Professor Marcello Truzzi died in February in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the age of 67, of cancer. A sociologist whose research interests included parapsychology, flying saucers, and witchcraft, and who approached subjects such as telepathy and the Abominable Snowman with skepticism, he contended that such reports deserved full investiga-tion. He coined the word "pseudoskeptics" for people who prejudge claims, even apparently outrageous ones.

     Dr. Truzzi helped found the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal in 1976 but resigned because he considered it more a propagandistic than scientific organization. In 1981, he founded and became director of the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan (later Grass Lake).

     Mr. Truzzi was the son of a celebrated juggler, Massimiliano Truzzi, and was born in Copenhagen where his family's circus was playing. They moved to the United States when he was 5 years old when his father was hired to juggle in the center ring of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The young Marcello worked as a clown, sold tickets, and learned magic tricks.

     He majored in sociology at Florida State University and earned a master's degree in sociology at the University of Florida, where he also studied law. He received his doctorate from Cornell University. He taught at Cornell, the University of South Florida, and the University of Michigan before becoming chairman of the sociology department at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, where he taught 28 years.

      Dr. Truzzi was on of the 100 Founding Members of SSE, and an SSE officer and Councilor for many years.

This remembrance, by Kathleen E. Erickson, originally appeared without attribution in The Explorer: The Newsletter of the Society for Scientific Exploration, Volume 18, No. 3, Summer 2003, p. 2.

Kathleen E. Erickson is editor of The Explorer.