Psychologist, Writer (Italy)
Massimo Polidoro is an Italian psychologist, writer, journalist, television personality, co-founder and executive director of the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudoscience (CICAP).
As a child in the 1970s, Polidoro was fascinated by magic and the claims surrounding psychic phenomena, Polidoro learned in his teens about the work of James Randi and CSICOP through a TV series and a book by Piero Angela investigating parapsychology from a critical, skeptical point of view. Polidoro studied Randi and his publications. Randi, like Houdini, was a magician and mystery investigator who employed a scientific approach to his investigations.
Polidoro corresponded with Randi and Angela by letter where they planned a sceptical organization in Italy based on CSICOP’s work in the United States. Polidoro was invited meet both Angela and Randi and again later to a meeting in Rome as Angela's guest in 1988.
After spending three days with Polidoro in Rome, both Angela and Randi agreed that Polidoro, had the talent and passion to become a good apprentice of Randi. During dinner at Angela’s house, they asked Polidoro if he was interested in learning how to investigate mysteries as Randi’s apprentice; a proposal which Polidoro gladly accepted. With a grant from Angela, Polidoro left for the United States and became Randi's only full-time apprentice in the art of paranormal investigation and psychic testing.
After several years in which he helped Randi in his investigations, research, writings and lectures, Polidoro returned to Italy where he started CICAP in 1990. He studied psychology, and graduated from the University of Padua with a master thesis on the psychology of eyewitness testimony of anomalous phenomena.