Lecture: When Worlds Collide: Scientists in Hollywood

Speaker: Dr Ted Nield, Science & Communications Officer, Geological Society of London

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

Scientists are rather rare, so most people are likely to get their knowledge about what they are like from fiction & principally from drama. Hollywood dramas inevitably present caricatures, which may be unpalatable to real scientists but which are nevertheless culturally powerful. In this talk no judgement is made about whether the various portrayals mentioned from cinema history are “right” or “wrong”. The question is, what do they tell us about the changing nature of cinema audiences’ reactions to scientists? By citing many examples from films of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the lecture demonstrates that attempts by film writers to portray scientists in non-cliche ways have led to many sympathetic and positive characteristics being grafted on to their characters & with Earth scientists leading the way.

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