The winner of the 2019 PA Outstanding Contribution Award is Massimo Biondi. This yearly award is given to a PA Professional or Associate Member who has made an outstanding research or service contribution that has advanced the discipline of parapsychology.  Dr. Biondi has devoted many years of his life to the study and support of parapsychology in Italy. However, because most of his work has appeared in Italian, it may have escaped the attention of many in the PA and others outside his country, so we present a few brief highlights.  

Massimo Biondi was born in Rome in 1952. In 1978, he graduated as a physician at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome where he carried out biochemical and genetic research. In 1980, he became a medical and scientific consultant for various pharmaceutical companies and medical societies. At the same time, he began a parallel career as science writer and journalist, collaborating or directing journals and magazines, and publishing medical books. In the 1990s he managed, with two colleagues, all the scientific and social information on AIDS in Italy, collaborating with the Wellcome Company and with main Italian medical societies in that field.

In parapsychology, a field to which he devoted himself since the early 1970s, he carried out experimental research on ESP and PK (initially following the Rhinean methodology, later preferring free response procedures). Over the years, when the opportunity arose, he studied some poltergeist cases, and investigated two hauntings, one of which he followed for over 22 years.

In the 1980s, he conducted an investigation on cases of “alleged paranormal phone calls”, and on stories of NDEs. He also had the opportunity to perform parapsychological counseling and in the 2000s, he studied case collections regarding non-recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis, apparitions experienced by children, death-bed visions (cases personally collected in a hospice in Rome), and poltergeist-hauntings occurring in Italy. He reported on almost all those studies, with articles published mainly in Italian journals and magazines (Quaderni di Parapsicologia, Metapsichica, Luce e Ombra, Sopravvivere), and sometimes on international media (e.g. Revue Parapsychologique, in France; Proceedings of the 8th European SSE Meeting held in Viterbo on 2009); in some Italian books: Misteriose Presenze (2005) on hauntings; Scoprirsi Cambiati (an interpretation of a few kinds of parapsychological phenomena through the filter of the “personality changes”): La Ricerca Psichica (an evidential review of the results obtained by the scientific research in parapsychology); and Parapsicologia (with Patrizio Tressoldi), an excellent overview of parapsychology, including work with spontaneous cases and experimental research.

Other scholarly contributions include historical work, such as his excellent study of the history of spiritism and psychical research in Italy Tavoli e Medium (1988), which remains to this day a standard reference on the subject. He also edited L’Arte Inconsapevole: La Dissociazione Creativa, L’Ispirazione, La Medianità: Studi sull’Arte Medianica [Unintentional Art: Creative Dissociation, Inspiration, Mediumship: Studies of Mediumistic Art] (2018), a collection of articles about mediumistic art. 

Since about 2010, he has directed Quaderni di Parapsicologia, the journal of the Italian Center for Parapsychological Studies, and – for a few years – The Missing Links. From 2007 he edited the blog Psichica, with G. Iannuzzo, and from 2016 the blog Psi Report, devoted to the present and the past of psychical research.

More information about the PA's annual career awards can be found at: