December 2, 2015 9:43 pm

Find Out the Secret to Magic When Neil Tyson Interviews Penn & Teller

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson an Penn an Teller.

Penn, Tyson and Teller. Credit: National Geographic Channel.

At the end of this week’s podcast, The Science of Illusion with Penn & Teller, Neil deGrasse Tyson says:
“I see people taken in by charlatans, people who exploit what they already know to be the shortcomings of human attention, human consciousness, human awareness. I’m angered by that. Rather than go out and beat them on the head, I, as an educator want to educate you up front. And that level of education, that level of science literacy, that level of skepticism becomes an antidote. It becomes an inoculation against all those who would exploit you for their gain.”

And that’s exactly what this episode is all about.

To get inside the human mind and the science of illusion, Neil has assembled an expert team consisting of Penn & Teller, who are at the same time world class illusionists and skeptics; neurologist Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde, Ph.D., who has co-written a book on how the human mind enables magic; Dr. Michael Shermer, Ph.D., the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine; Bill Nye the Science Guy; and co-host Chuck Nice.

Together, they look at the technology that makes magic possible. They look at the neuroscience that explains why the human mind is vulnerable to magic, illusion, pseudoscience and fraud. They look at how it’s possible to practice honest, moral magic – and times in history when magic has been used to further the goals of colonialism, racism and misogyny. And they look at psychics, mediums, Harry Houdini, and the birth of the skepticism movement.

Oh, and to top it off, Penn Jillette lets us in on the “one secret of magic.”

Far be it from me to give away the trick, though, so you’ll have to listen in to find out. Join us Friday, December 4th at 7pm ET on our website, iTunesPodcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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