Interview 45. – Megan Swann

Megan is the Secretary of The Magic Circle, and is the youngest person to ever hold one of the top five officer roles in the society. Her unique ballet-themed stage act recently won first prize and the conventioneers trophy for originality at the International Brotherhood of Magicians (British Ring) Stage competition. She also holds a degree in wildlife conservation, a passion which she has combined with her magic in her new Environmental magic show!

Interview 44. – Dr Helen Pilcher

Helen Pilcher is a tea-drinking, biscuit-writing science and comedy writer. She writes for the likes of Nature and New Scientist, and is currently working on her second book, which is about the changing face of evolution. In a former life, Helen was a scientist but she managed to escape from the lab, and now spends time teaching scientists how to communicate more effectively. Helen also comperes debates and comedy shows, and gives talks at festivals, live shows and other events.

Interview 43. – Morgan and West

Morgan & West are a duo of magicians based in Oxford, who spend their time touring the country pretending to be time travellers and doing magic shows for adults and children alike. Before they were itinerant performers they were secondary school teachers, before they were teachers they did science degrees, and before they did science degrees they wanted to run off and join the circus, so all in all it worked out OK in the end.

Interview 42. – Jonathan Sanderson

Jonathan Sanderson is a lapsed physicist and occasional filmmaker, now unexpectedly an academic working on widening participation  projects at Northumbria University. He trains science and engineering performers internationally, and has research interests in digital making, tinkering education, and diversity in the STEM workforce.

Interview 40. – Richard McDougall

One of the founding magicians of Breathe Magic, Richard is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star and a former World Open Champion for Close-Up Magic. He performs for private and corporate clients worldwide and feels fortunate to have appeared at several events hosted by HM The Queen, including a private party to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, which was attended by forty Kings and Queens. He has also created magic for other performers, most notably a Derren Brown TV show which won the Silver Rose of Montreux.

Interview 39. – Dr James Grime

James Grime is a mathematician, presenter and public speaker. James has a PhD in mathematics but now spends most of his time travelling the UK and the world giving talks about mathematics. In particular James is known for his talks about the mathematics of codes and code breaking. James is also a presenter on the popular YouTube channel numberphile, which started in 2011 and now has over 2.5 million subscribers and viewers around the world.

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).

Interview 37. – Dr Ken Farquhar

Dr Ken perfected his skills as a science presenter by working as a street performer, mime, school teacher and in television production. He has toured his shows and workshops in schools, science and arts festivals worldwide. He creates inspirational shows and workshops for schools at all levels and delivers development programmes for educational professionals, academics and businesses. He is currently an honorary lecturer in science communication at the University of East Anglia.

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