Uri Geller has received a great deal of attention over the past year for his reported success at reproducing hidden drawings, bending metal objects such as keys, spoons, and forks by PK, and restarting broken watches. In his native Israel, Geller often is reported to have performed some of these feats in the role of a professional magician. In the U. S. and western Europe, these diverse phenomena have been reported as having been produced under good observation by many reliable observers and cannot easily be discounted. At the same time, they have not yet been carefully explored in controlled laboratory conditions.
Most of the experimental studies of Geller's claims have been carried out at the Stanford Research Institute, where Dr. Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ have best mastered the difficulties involved in getting Geller to act as a subject. At the 1973 P.A. convention they reported carefully designed GESP picture reproduction studies which had given strong results. But while the ESP aspects of Geller's abilities have laboratory support, a good laboratory demonstration or investigation of the psychokinesis aspects has not yet been reported. Most of the efforts in that direction have seemed to be directed toward eliciting more unusual phenomena rather than toward conclusively establishing any single one.
Geller's general pursuit of extensive commercial exploitation has produced a widespread reaction. New Scientist and Nature, among other periodicals, have recently discussed him in articles written in reaction to his televised appearance in Britain. After the broadcast, objects were reported to have bent, even in the homes of those watching the program. News coverage and discussion of this event caused New Scientist (Dec. 7, 1973) to invite Geller to appear before a panel of scientists for an authoritative assessment of these phenomena. His answer is uncertain as yet, but Nature (Dec. 7, 1973) published a page one commentary entitled "Challenge to Scientists" in support of the proposal and Geller's appearance, remarking that "... a boost for psychical research would be very welcome. There are too many loose ends lying around for comfort, and psychical research has not yet been able to shake off its mildly eccentric character and its ability to attract fierce criticism.