Acronym for the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. CSICOP started in 1976 as a subscription based nonprofit scientific and educational organization that encouraged the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible scientific point of view. To carry out these objectives CSICOP maintains a network of qualified people interested in critically examining a full range of topics. It is also affiliated with the Center For Inquiry ( CFI ), a broader based pro-secular movement based on the principles of scientific inquiry.

In September 2006, CSICOP members agreed that the prominence of the word "paranormal" in the CSICOP title focused too much attention on that area of inquiry and decided to shorten its name to the committee for skeptical inquiry ( CSI ). The change also eliminated the pronunciation association between CSICOP and the shadowy fictional PSI Cops in the epic science fiction television series Babylon 5, while at the same time associating it with the glitzy and popular series CSI ( Crime Scene Investigation ) in which the investigators are always portrayed as the good guys and use high tech scientific gadgets to solve crimes.

CSI has also changed its focus to address various aspects of what it considers to be pseudoscientific and paranormal belief. For example, as lobbyists increased their efforts to have intelligent design taught in schools, CSI created an "Intelligent Design Watch" website and increased the publication of articles on evolution and intelligent design in Skeptical Inquirer. CSI also prepares bibliographies of published materials, encourages objective and impartial research, convenes conferences and meetings and publishes articles. The Skeptical Inquirer is its official journal.

CSI has incorrectly labeled ufology a pseudoscience. While it is true that ufology is not a science, neither is it a pseudoscience. It is no more a pseudoscience than bird watching. However labeling it as a pseudoscience has made is easier for CSI to demonize it. Unfortunately, this has sometimes led to an "us versus them" attitude between CSI and ufologists. The position of USI with respect to CSI is that genuine and constructive interest in the UFO phenomenon should include a healthy element of skepticism and rational thought. However ridicule and belittlement can not be justified by academic elitism and should have no place in the pursuit of the truth. Furthermore, those who would use their scientific credentials to justify such tactics do a far greater disservice to society than those who take an interest in things that are unexplained.

High profile members of CSI have included Carl Sagan and Philip J. Klass. Both have been associated with friction and controversy between ufologists and skeptics. USI also regards both as important figures in the field of ufology. Another prominent member of CSI was James Randi, ( stage name The Amazing Randi ) who was a founding fellow of the original CSICOP. Randi's main focus has been on explaining the paranormal. During the period when Uri Geller was filing numerous civil suits against Randi, CSICOP's leadership feared that they would also become targets of Geller's litigation and requested that Randi refrain from commenting on Geller. Randi refused and resigned. However, he maintained a respectful relationship with the group and continued to contribute articles for its magazine.

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