Even among those who bring up the role of consciousness, however, an even deeper early controversy is often glossed over - these questions were viewed, among many of the most prominent founders of quantum physics, as profoundly mystical questions. This viewpoint is tackled in a paper published in the European Journal of Physics by Harvard historian Juan Miguel Marin ('Mysticism' in quantum mechanics: the forgotten controversy - abstract only).
Lisa Zyga covers the topic quite well in her article, Quantum Mysticism: Gone but Not Forgotten over at PhysOrg.com. Basically, Marin doesn't weigh in on the role of consciousness itself (being a historian rather than a physicist), but instead points out that the very fact that this controversy once existed shows that there are many different ways that science and religion can interact, instead of the "all or nothing" tug of war which seems so prevalent today. Marin suggests that, in part, this is a transition from the early 20th century Germanic worldview (which dominated theoretical physics of the early quantum era) with the Anglo-American viewpoint that has dominated physics since the Manhattan Project.
Apparently, weighing in on the science side of the science/religion split is the recent book by Victor J. Stenger, Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness, written with the (seemingly) express purpose of debunking the mis-application of quantum physics to pseudo-religious hokum. I won't question the validity of Stenger's argument, having not yet read his book (it's sitting right here and I promise I'll get to it!), but I do think that Marin makes a valid point that physicists today are too quick to dismiss the entire debate over consciousness without really giving the complexities due intellectual credit.
What is without a doubt important, in an age where new age mysticism seeks to co-opt quantum physics as part of its support structure, is for scholars such as Marin and Stenger to clearly delineate the limits of this discussion. Even in the most extreme formulations, quantum physics interactions with consciousness do not grant anyone the ability to summon vast amounts of wealth just by thinking about it.