Mackenzie, William (1877– )
British biologist and writer, living in Italy, who played a
prominent part in the scientific study of parapsychology. Mackenzie,
born March 25, 1877, in Genoa, Italy, studied at the
University of Turin (Ph.D., 1900). In 1905 he founded the first
Marine Biological Laboratory at the University of Genoa and
during 1912–13 conducted research in Germany on the phenomenon
of ‘‘thinking animals.’’ During World War I he was
a volunteer in the Italian Army; during World War II
(1939–45), he lectured on biological philosophy at the University
of Geneva and was a consultant on foreign scientific literature
to publishers in Florence beginning in 1960.
He was president of the Second International Congress of
Psychical Research, held in Warsaw in 1923, then served as
president of the Italian Society for Parapsychology, 1951–54,
and honorary president beginning in 1954. He was president
of the Third National Congress of Parapsychology, held at the
University of Rome in 1956, and honorary member of the Institut
Métapsychique International, Paris, and the Institut
Francais de Florence.
Mackenzie edited Parapsicologia (quarterly journal of parapsychology)
from 1955 to 1956. He conducted a special study
of psychobiology (parapsychology in living organisms) and investigated
psychic animals and mathematical mediumship. He
published many articles on parapsychology in English and Italian
journals such as Psiche, Archives de Psycholgie, Proceedings of
the Italian Society for the Advancement of Science, Quaderni di
Psichiatria, Journal of the ASPR, Revue Métapsychique, and Uomini
e Idee.