Listened to somebody ttalk about this on a nigh radio woo show Coast To Coast.

Apparently many believers.

to search
For other uses, see Psion (disambiguation).
In American science fiction of the 1950s and '60s, psionics was a proposed discipline that applied principles of engineering (especially electronics) to the study (and employment) of paranormal, or psychic, phenomena, such as telepathy and psychokinesis.[1] The term is a portmanteau of psi (in the sense of "psychic phenomena") and the -onics from electronics.[1][2][3][4] The word "psionics" began as, and always remained, a term of art within the science fiction community[5] and — despite the promotional efforts of editor John W. Campbell, Jr — it never achieved general currency, even among academic parapsychologists. In the years after the term was coined in 1951, it became increasingly evident that no scientific evidence supports the existence of "psionic" abilities.[6]

In 1942, two authors — biologist Berthold P. Wiesner and psychologist Robert Thouless — had introduced the term "psi" (from ψ psi, 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet) to parapsychology in an article published in the British Journal of Psychology.[7] (This Greek character was chosen as apropos since it is the initial letter of the Greek word ψυχή [psyche] — meaning "mind" or "soul".[8][9]) The intent was that "psi" would represent the "unknown factor" in extrasensory perception and psychokinesis, experiences believed to be unexplained by any known physical or biological mechanisms.[10][11] In a 1972 book,[12] Thouless insisted that he and Wiesner had coined this usage of the term "psi" prior to its use in science fiction circles, explaining that their intent was to provide a more neutral term than "ESP" that would not suggest a pre-existing theory of mechanism.[13]
The word "psionics" first appeared in print in a novella by science fiction writer Jack Williamson — The Greatest Invention[14] — published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in 1951.[15] Williamson derived it from the "psion", a fictitious "unit of mental energy" described in the same story. (Only later was the term retroactively described in non-fiction articles in Astounding as a portmanteau of "psychic electronics", by editor John W. Campbell.[16][17]) The new word was derived by analogy with the earlier term radionics.[1][18] (“Radionics” combined radio with electronics and was itself devised in the 1940s [19] to refer to the work of early 20th century physician and pseudoscientist Albert Abrams.) The same analogy was subsequently taken up in a number of science fiction-themed neologisms, notably bionics (bio- + electronics; coined 1960)[20] and cryonics (cryo- + electronics; coined 1967).[21]