Friday, September 07, 2007

Marcello Truzzi's Zetetic Scholar online

Eastern Michigan University sociology professor Marcello Truzzi was a co-founder and co-chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP, now just CSI) and the editor of its original magazine, The Zetetic (later renamed Skeptical Inquirer). After he broke with the group over what he perceived as dogmatism and a desire for a more academic than popular approach, he published his own journal on paranormal and fringe science subjects, the Zetetic Scholar.

George Hansen has now put the first five issues of the Zetetic Scholar online at his website as PDFs, along with the tables of contents of issues six through eleven. (Only one other issue, a larger one identified as a double issue, twelve and thirteen, was published.) Issues 9, 10, and 11 are noteworthy for publishing debate about CSICOP's "Mars Effect" controversy. My personal collection includes only issues 9 through 12/13, so I'm happy to see the older issues made available.

Truzzi died of cancer on February 2, 2003. He was a meticulous researcher who was very generous with his time and sources. I corresponded with him on a number of occasions, and had several telephone conversations with him about skepticism and the Mars Effect controversy, about which I've assembled a very lengthy chronology and bibliography (large RTF file). When I wrote a chapter on "Veteran Psychic Detective Bill Ward" for Joe Nickell's book Psychic Sleuths, Truzzi provided me with a few newspaper clippings on Ward that he had obtained while researching his own book on psychic detectives, The Blue Sense.

Truzzi was agnostic to a fault--he would refrain from coming to conclusions even when evidence was overwhelming.

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