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