The 2017 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Joe Nickell has been a mainstay among the presenters and supporters of Science Exploration Day since his arrival in Buffalo over twenty years ago. He is apparently the only full-time scientific investigator of paranormal claims in the world and is definitely the world’s foremost practitioner, with a home base near the University at Buffalo at The Center for Inquiry. He began his career with investigations of document forgery and the book he wrote on the subject and his background as a stage magician at the Houdini Hall of Fame and as a private investigator led him into the field of paranormal claims. Joe has travelled the world doing investigations and writing about them in the several dozen books and innumerable articles in The Skeptical Inquirer and elsewhere that he has authored.

It is our good fortune that Joe Nickell views paranormal claims as teaching and learning opportunities because his accounts have intrigued students in the many workshops he has presented at Science Exploration Day since the mid-‘90s. Investigating the Shroud of Turin, pursuing reports of hauntings, validating treasured documents and autogaphs, and exposing some forgeries are all in a day’s (or life’s) work for Joe Nickell and we are pleased to recognize his ongoing contribution to our program.