Science of Magic Association
Image Credit: Eli Sheiner

Image Credit: Eli Sheiner


2017 Conference & GALA SHOW COMING SOON!



about SOMA

The Science of Magic Association (SOMA) promotes rigorous research directed toward understanding the nature, function, and underlying mechanisms of magic.

SOMA provides a platform for discussion and  dissemination of research and ideas on magic.


SOMA is an inclusive organization that welcomes members with diverse backgrounds including science and technology, humanities, practicing magicians, and individuals who are simply interested in science and magic.






Interest in magic methods can be traced back throughout recorded history, but in the past 15 years, the Science of Magic has recently been undergoing a renaissance.

The Westcar Papyrus dates to around the 18th Century BCE and describes a magician performing 'miracles' in the court of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu

The Westcar Papyrus dates to around the 18th Century BCE and describes a magician performing 'miracles' in the court of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu

Classic Misdirection depicted in Heironymus Bosch's 'The Conjurer" 

Classic Misdirection depicted in Heironymus Bosch's 'The Conjurer" 


Since the year 2000, the body of experimental scientific literature on the topic of performance magic has more than quadrupled. To date, 55 empirical papers have been published on the topic of adult perceptions of magic tricks within the last 15 years, compared to the 12 that were published in the preceding century, between 1887 and 1999. 


Many of these new studies are currently available as OpenAccess articles: check-out Frontiers in Psychology’s Special Issue titled: Psychology of Magic and the Magic of Psychology.

You can also sign-up to our newsletter to receive a free bibliography listing every published empirical study of  adult perceptions of magic tricks. 


The S.o.m.A. Committee



We are thrilled to announce that we will be holding a 2-day conference dedicated to the Science of Magic on August 31st and September 1st.

The conference will feature academics, researchers, and magicians from around the world, along with top keynote speakers, presentations on recent research, a poster session, and a panel discussion on applications of Science of Magic research. 

We are also thrilled to announce that the legendary Juan Tamariz will be our guest of honor!

Juan will be performing in the gala show and will also be presenting a lecture. 


We will also be hosting a Gala Show on the evening proceeding conference (August 30).


Conference Location:  Goldsmiths, University of London.  

The talks will be taking place in the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre (location 34 on this map)

Conference Dates: August 31 and September 1, 2017


Conference Program


 Due to a scheduling conflict, Will Houstoun will unfortunately be unable to join us for the Podium Discussion that had been scheduled for Day 1

We will still be holding the Podium Discussion with Thomas Fraps, Pitt Hartling, Dr. Gustav Kuhn, Prof. Amir Raz, & Prof. Richard Wiseman


Until May 15, we are offering an early booking discount for registration fees for the full conference or individual days.


 Please sign-up to our newsletter to be kept up-to-date.


For information on our past (2016) conference click here. 


Getting to the Conference

Goldsmiths, University of London is a short 5 minute walk from New Cross and New Cross Gate Stations, each of which are easily accessible from Central London, and are serviced by both National Rail Trains and the London Overground Network. 

For attendees looking to secure overnight accommodation, we recommend staying around Greenwich or London Bridge. 



Guest of Honor


Keynote Speakers


Gala Show 

Our gala show will be taking place on August 30 at 19:00 at The Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road, London. 

Please note that is a separately ticketed event from the conference and the seats are limited. 

We have a fantastic line-up of performers including: