Improving the science in science fiction.

There is an interesting story in New Scientist about The Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program initiated by the National Academy of Sciences to improve the science in movies and TV [New project aims to unite science and Hollywood]. It would be hard to make it worse, so this strikes me as a very positive development!

The project is described thus:

The Science & Entertainment Exchange is a program of the National Academy of Sciences that provides entertainment industry professionals with access to top scientists and engineers to help bring the reality of cutting-edge science to creative and engaging storylines.

The portrayal of science – its practitioners, its methods, its effects – has often posed a challenge to the entertainment community. Though it has inspired some of the most intelligent and compelling storylines, science’s many complexities have confounded even the most talented writer, director, or producer, time and again pitting creative license against scientific authenticity and clarity.

Likewise, the scientific community has struggled to find an effective conduit through which it can communicate its story accurately and effectively. Though many of the world’s biggest problems require scientific solutions, finding a way to translate and depict scientific findings so that reach a wide audience has required a sounding board that has often been missing.

The Science & Entertainment Exchange bridges this gap and addresses the mutual need of the two communities by providing the credibility and the verisimilitude upon which quality entertainment depends – and which audiences have come to expect. Drawing on the deep knowledge of the scientific community, we can collaborate on narrative and visual solutions to a variety of problems while contributing directly to the creativity of the content in fresh and unexpected ways.

Especially cool is this, from the report:

…the Exchange organised a symposium, sponsored in part by New Scientist, in which scientists and entertainers were to discuss hot topics in science like climate change and genomics.



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