Science - Page 64

Children , when exposed to these concepts at the right age , embrace them as acts of unthreatening discovery . But what about children who are not exposed to these things ? We all know adults who are terrified to speak in public , because they never had a reason to speak in front of a group as children .
It ’ s easy to see the interpersonal and creative skills developed from a kid learning and practicing magic – and then performing in front of audiences – and how these skills can also help many scientists be more successful . While we like to in the end judge today ’ s scientists by their scientific breakthroughs , at the start of their careers many scientists are at a teaching university or college , and they need to be comfortable and effective in front of an audience . Many very brilliant young scientists are challenged connecting with today ’ s students , being comfortable and effective in presenting information , getting messages across , and teaching hard science skills and fact . Studying and practicing magic teaches many of the core communication and presentation skills that any exceptional teacher needs .
There are even more subtle skills developed by magic that probably do more for a potential young scientist than you would imagine .
Three components in the study and performance of magic must surely serve the budding scientist well . The first is the realization that there are many different methods for creating the same effect ; next is realizing the same methods can create many different effects ; and finally , learning that one can work backwards from any desired effect to create a potentially new and unique method for creating that effect .
Magic turns this dynamic interplay between methods and outcomes into a fun and fascinating exercise that can be transferred to almost any other curiosity – or scientific pursuit – an active mind might be exposed to .
In my opinion – and considering the topic , I wish I could back this up with double blind studies – the same sort of correlation could be made between adult scientists and children who pursued magic as a hobby : That the roots of their key scientific skills were sewn during their joy-filled early days of discovering and performing magic . ■
We know many people who loved magic as they were growing up , and because of their childhood performances , as adults they are comfortable , confident and poised in front of any group . The skills developed during those childhood windows of opportunity became resources they could count on throughout their lives .

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MICHAEL AMMAR
Michael Ammar is recognized worldwide as one of the greatest living magicians . In 1983 , Ammar entered the FISM magic competition and was awarded the Gold Medal for Close-Up Magic . In doing so , he became the second American in the history of the competition to do so . After winning at FISM , Ammar travelled west and became friends with the great Dai Vernon who became Ammar ’ s mentor throughout the following years .
He has produced over forty video titles , also books and magazines . In 1999 The Magic Magazine named him one of 100 most influential magicians of the century .