July 14, 2009

Hollywood, Science, and Unscientific America

I'm a bit busy at the moment, having a very important house guest this week and just having taken on a new and very exciting project that I'm only going to tease you with for a while. However, that doesn't mean you'll lack for continued criticisms of the new Mooney/Kirshenbaum book.

Peggy got herself a copy of the book and dug into the chapter on science in Hollywood much more thoroughly at Biology in Science Fiction than I did at Quiche Moraine working from just one quote. She's not entirely thrilled.

I'm disappointed that Unscientifc America indulges in the same sort of negative stereotyping of scientists that pop culture does. And maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the suggestion seems to be that scientists should not comment on or complain about "minor" scientific inaccuracies, because, well, just because:

Sound familiar? That's not the only thing that chapter appears to have in common (in a negative way) with the rest of the book. Go find out how Dawkins is taken out of context again.

Also, while we're still talking about the book, Jason would like your help with a little poll.

1 comment:

Peggy said...

I got a bit ranty, mostly because I don't like to be told essentially to shut up. That's particularly true when the suggested alternative course of action is to make good friends with an influential filmmaker and cross your fingers that one of your kind and undemanding suggestions about the depiction of science might make its way onto the big screen. Unfortunately I don't have Spielberg's number.

And the use of Dawkins as the prime example of an unreasonable scientist who doesn't "get" entertainment based on a decade-old paraphrased comment seemed unfair.