Using Bad Movies To Teach Good Science

Science News has a good article (What's Wrong with This Picture? Educating via analyses of science in movies and TV via BoingBoing) on how science educators can make use of even the most outlandish films and television shows.


(From Méliès' Trip to the Moon)

Some highlights:

  • In last summer's blockbuster The Day after Tomorrow, global warming causes an ice age within a few weeks. Very convenient for the plot line of the film, but climate scientists around the world responded with computer models demonstrating that "abrupt" climate change in the real world might take place over decades, not weeks.
  • A recent NBC miniseries 10.5 about a fictional series of spectacular earthquakes triggered powerful temblors in the scientific community (sorry about that). Although the California Geological Survey website is an unlikely spot for movie reviews, it was a good opportunity to put more accurate information before the public.
Some movies do offer scientifically accurate scenarios and devices. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, a rotating space station provides artificial gravity for travelers in a valid manner.

Here on Technovelgy.com, of course, I enjoy presenting both scientifically reasonable ideas and inventions from science fiction (like retro rockets, the actinoscope, and waldoes), as well as less likely ideas (like the infinite improbability drive, bounce tubes and the farcasters). Although I usually rely on the common sense (and scientific training) of readers to distinguish between them, I often provide links or discussion of the real science.

Have a favorite "bad science" movie? Or a movie that really sticks to the facts? Leave a comment below.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/22/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 10 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.' - Bruce Sterling, 1985.

Bot Tweets Venmo Drug Transactions
An alarming item to find on your twitter feed.

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'- Philip Jose Farmer, 1967.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.