Notes from the Experiments with the Imagination Conference Session

Didn't take any direct quotes.


A summary of points from this conference session about portraying scientists in fiction and getting science facts right:

  • Hollywood blockbusters carry so much weight, need to get more science into this medium
  • Scientists need to be telling their own stories. There are only about 120 books about scientists.
  • What does it mean for a story to accurately portay science? Getting scientific facts right? Or scientists reacting in a way scientists should react? Believes stories are about people, making them more important than the facts.
  • Star Trek: Starhip Mine: “terrorists steal MacGuffin juice from the warp core” Barrion sweep on the enterprise, but barrions are in all atoms. LOL Cats as up and down quarks. Maybe the Barrions in ST were exotic sub-space barrions. We can use the episode to teach proper science.
  • 2012 had a ridiculous premise, but the scientists were awesome.
  •  Michael Crighton: Climate Change book was silly, Andromeda Strain was silly
  • Jennifer: Percival’s Planet, example of good science story about the discovery of Pluto
  • Science presented without scientific process is just magic.
  • "Tron Legacy" was awful, but for me Tron, had Unix commands, mentioned genetic algorithms, I got much more enjoyment out of the film than the average viewer. Would including something about the game of life or evolving programs through natural selection make the film more interesting? The screenwriters were obviously familiar with the concepts, why did they shy away from giving the film more depth?


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 Experiments with the Imagination: Science and Scientists through the Medium of Fiction
Proceedings of Meetings and Symposia>Conference Session:  Rohn, Jennifer Rohn and Stacey, Blake (January 15, 2011), Experiments with the Imagination: Science and Scientists through the Medium of Fiction, Science Online 2011, Sigma Xi Conference Center, Retrieved on 2011-01-17
Folksonomies: science scientists fiction