With all of the hand-wringing I have seen lately here about the publics opinion of magic and magicians, I wanted to pass along a comment from Jon Carroll, who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle.
In his column of August 23rd, he mentioned the NY Times Sleight of Mind article, which has already been discussed here (Teller, Apollo Robbins, many others in NYTimes today)
Mr. Carroll writes: Members of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness held a learned convention, and after two days of rigorous academic presentations, it was time for the fun part: a panel of magicians.
Magicians, after all, are experts in fooling the brain. Cognitive scientists are very interested in what tricks the brain and what doesn't, because analyzing those differences is one key to understanding how the brain works. Besides, there's nothing cooler than a seminar that features disappearing balls, magic cascades of coins and in-plain-sight pickpocketing.
Nothing cooler indeed.