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 ")

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?' - Richard Morgan, 2003.

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... Setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1938.

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.' - John Brunner, 1975.

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

 

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

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

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.