Ermacora, Giovanni Battista (1869–1898)
An Italian scientist who abandoned his research in electricity
(which had already caused him to be looked upon as a successor
to Faraday and Maxwell) for psychical research and who became
a fervent exponent and defender of paranormal phenomena
when the subject was looked upon with contempt by
official science. In his first work, I fatti spiritici e le ipotesi affrettate
(1892), he severely criticized the neuropathological interpretation
of mediumistic phenomena, which Cesare Lombroso had
adopted after his first series of sittings with the medium Eusapia
Palladino in Naples. Ermacora took part in the memorable
Milan investigation with the same medium.
After the failure of his first attempt to establish an Italian Society
for Psychical Research, he founded with Giorgio Finzi in
January 1895 the Rivista di Studi Psichici, a periodical analogous
to the British Society for Psychical Research Proceedings, in
which most of his studies were published.
Ermacora devoted himself to all branches of psychical science,
but especially to telepathy, to the experimental demonstration
of which he made important contributions. His work
on the subject was cut short by his murder. The 150-page work
titled La Telepatice, posthumously published in 1898, is considered
one of the best and most systematic treatises of the period
on the subject.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Ermacora, Giovanni B. I fatti spiritici e le ipotesi affrettate (Spiritistic
facts and hasty hypotheses). Padua, Italy, 1892.