Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Patron of the British Humanist Association. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. His most recent book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.
Jon Marshall – sideshow illusions (#125)
Jon Marshall is potty about sideshows, for over thirty years he was a friend of the late Jon Gresham, Magician, Fire-eater and Sideshow proprietor. Jon Marshall is the founder of Sideshow Illusions and has led a creative team in restoring and presenting Gresham's shows using their original frontages and props. Jon has worked in theatre all his life, performing magic professionally as a teenager and in 1970 becoming Director of Theatre in Education at Hull Arts Centre and later Director of Humberside Theatre. In 1982 Jon formed Magic Carpet Theatre presenting children's theatre productions and other shows throughout the UK and internationally, they are still touring. Jon is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star and in 2017 was awarded the David Berglas Award for Outstanding Contribution to Magic by the British Magical Society. Jon has been able to combine his passions for magic, sideshows and theatre in many projects, whether training Zombies for the University of Sheffield or presenting Professor Jon's Flea Circus.
Paul Craven – mind tricks (#123)
Paul is a well-known industry speaker on Behavioural Science – a topic he describes as “understanding how real people make real decisions in the real world”. After three decades in the investment industry, he left Goldman Sachs in 2014 to set up Paul Craven Partners Ltd. to help his clients enhance their communication and sales skills. Outside of work, he is privileged to be a member of the exclusive Magic Circle, thus bringing an extra psychological perspective on how “your mind plays tricks" to his business talks.
David Bramwell – monologist (#96)
Monologist, podcast maker, and odd job man at BBC Radio 3 & 4. Author of 'The No9 Bus to Utopia' & 'The Haunted Moustache'. Singer-songwriter with Oddfellow's Casino.
Stuart Scott – deception consultant (#78)
Stuart Scott is an Influence and Deception consultant. Stuart has worked as a theatre manager at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, been a professional stage magician in London, Germany and South Africa, and worked as a magic consultant. He spent 10 years at the British Council, the UK’s international education and cultural relations organisation. This work included time as a speechwriter, and 2 years posted at the British Embassy in Baghdad advising on the development of an Iraqi national education strategy, as well as a period supporting UK training in Afghanistan. Stuart also has extensive experience working with the British military and NATO on issues of cultural engagement, influence and information management. He now advises corporations on counter-deception.
Ian Keable – magical historian (#67)
Ian Keable has been a full-time professional magician for over 30 years, specialising in Comedy Magic. More recently he has branched out into talks both on magic but also subjects such as 18th Century hoaxes, satirical prints and cartoons. He has written three self-published books aimed at magicians including Stand-Up: A Professional Guide to Comedy Magic and Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters and Literature. He is presently writing The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in the Eighteenth Century, due to be published by The Westbourne Press in autumn 2020.
R. Paul Wilson – con artist expert (#63)
An award-winning writer/film director from Scotland; author, conjurer and expert on con games, scams and deception.
Interview 38. – Lise Lesaffre
Lise is exploring magic, not that much in practice, but from a cognitive experimental perspective. Her PhD project is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (supervisor Christine Mohr, co-supervisor Gustav Kuhn). In this project, the team investigates how experiencing an “impossible event” can affect people’s magical beliefs and associated cognitive biases (e.g. appreciation of chance). Lise is majorly responsible for developing an innovative design and methodology to investigate people's beliefs, using specific psychic demonstrations, and cognitive measures. She is also interested in the definition, perception and interpretation of magic in various populations (i.e. children, adults, and particular patient populations).
Stuart Nolan – deceptive technology (#13)
Unique performances that combine traditional disciplines of impossibility with original research into how we are deceived by language and gesture. Consulting, training, and facilitation. Mostly in technology development, tricky thinking, physical deception, attention control, and impossible innovation.