Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Science and Entertainment Exchange Watches Over "Watchmen"

I mentioned this a few months ago about the initiative sponsored by the National Academy of Science called the Science and Entertainment Exchange. It is an effort to connect the movie industry with scientists in relevant fields to be advisers to the various movie projects, in the hope of projecting some valid starting point in the science that is being displayed on screen.

This Forbes article illustrates the working of this exchange in the upcoming movie "Watchmen", that is much highly anticipated by many Sci-Fi fans.

What is surprising, though, is that the movie's creators, director Zack Snyder, screenwriters David Hayter and Alex Tse, and producers Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin and Deborah Snyder, wanted to explore the science behind the science fiction.

Science was ready to help. A pilot program that has now matured into something called the Science and Entertainment Exchange matched the movie's creators with the perfect academic: James Kakalios, a physics professor at the University of Minnesota and the author of The Physics of Superheroes.

Of course it always helps that the movie producers and directors want to try and be as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, not many do, and so you still get movies that simply makes one shakes one's head. Still, I don't know of how effective of an impact movies have in inspiring someone to want to go into science. On the other hand, I'm guessing that they can make someone become more suspicious of science ("China Syndrome", etc.), especially when they play loose with the science and the facts.


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