by Greg Mayer
Jerry recently posted on a piece by Carl Zimmer on the depiction of science in movies. Carl doesn’t think Hollywood films have shown very realistic views of science and scientists, and is not sure Hollywood can or should do anything about it. Carl’s more jazzed by the promise and accomplishments of smaller films of the type shown at the Imagine Science Film Festival. This got me to thinking about my own favorite science-y movies, and so, in the spirit of Jerry’s recent literary selections, I thought I’d mention some of my favorite depictions of science and scientists on film. I’ll be putting one up each of the next few days.
I invite WEIT readers to tell us in the comments what are their favorite scenes or films. The ones I’m thinking of capture something I believe to be true about the scientific enterprise; let us know what you found appealing in your favorite. It might be a kernel of truth, but it might be a ‘so bad it’s good’ (a la Plan 9 From Outer Space) kind of thing. I’ll put my first one up tomorrow.
(As an aside, I note Carl wondered why the acid in Alien didn’t burn through the hull of the Nostromo; much more fantastic is how the alien managed to put on about 500 kilos and grow ten feet longer without eating anything after emerging from John Hurt’s chest. The acid, after all, would be used up in the course of reacting with the metal in the hull, but where’d all that body mass come from?)