Miquel DURAN, University of Girona, Spain
Silvia SIMON, University of Girona, Spain
Fernando BLASCO, Polytechnics University of Madrid, Spain
Physical distancing and restrictions in face-to-face theatrical activities has brought about a strong disruption to many disciplines. One the most affected is magic, in the sense that the illusion of impossibility is far more difficult to attain online. Moreover, misdirection - a key component of magical seances, is not so easy in online sessions as compared to physical representations.
However, after some hesitancy, quickly developed new skills and designed improved methods to reach a remote audience, especially (of course) in the field of mentalism. Actually, magicians have provided clues to improve communication over the Internet. Our very academic group in Quantum Chemistry research, has benefited from our outreach activities linked to a Magic & Science initiative.
This communication will deal with a comparison between developments fostered by online-oriented magicians and online science communicators. We think that the difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to carry a deeper insight and better innovate in science communication.
Beyond these new methods, the pandemic world has seen the emergence of strong and awkward situations linked to pseudoscience, misinformation, disinformation, fake news, etc. We think that magic (e.g., conjuring) is especially suited to provide new ideas to fight those wrong values of the 21st Century Society.
Finally, the pandemic has made us realize that our society is not scientifically literate enough. We had reached a point where we thought that it might be. But the wave of news about vaccines, viruses, pandemics and other health-related issues have shown that there is still a long way to go.
The relationship between online magic and online science communication, in the sense that they involve the most plausible method to communicate, will be thus the conducting line in this communication.
We will assess as well whether use of online magic to communicate science is as useful as it is offline. Our experience in the last twelve months seems to show that magic is a useful tool to educate, disseminate and motivate - even online.
Indeed one may think of combining classical attitudes versus conjuring, with targeting communication to a young audience, especially using video tools and tailored innovations like twitch, tiktok, and other new phenomena. We are planning to comment on that as well.