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← Science in Hollywood

bjorke's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by bjorke

I admire a lot of what's said in Carolyn's talk -- however, Hollywood-style TV/movies are about as effective at teaching science as they are at teaching actual police procedures.

Science is, well, *real,* and movies are, almost exclusively, fictional. As a writer of fiction, either you invent "reality" (e.g., the aliens in "Contact," flubber, whatever), or you end up writing biography. And it would still be portrayed by actors and a director who would feel obliged by their professions (and egos) to alter things looking for the "dramatic truth." How many wives did John Nash have, again?

(Sadly I can't help but think that in Hollywood even the spectacular Cassini images would be replaced with "improved" CG versions)

Of course, Hollywood audiences (usually) know the difference. Consider that a few years ago three airplanes destroyed a few buildings and the worldwide ramifications of those events, compared to this coming weekend's movie fare where every building on the planet is wiped out & it's all jolly fun.

Hollywood thrives on spectacle and on stories full of interpersonal conflict. Science only occasionally works via either mechanism.

(As a consolation prize: consider the already-existing stock character of the manipulative power-hungry truth-suppressing churchman...)

Thu, 12 Nov 2009 14:52:00 UTC | #413026