THE SCI-FI CONUNDRUM
Science Technology Engineering Arts Math
sci-fi: speculative fiction. Science fiction, abbreviation SF or sci-fi, a form of fiction that deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined science upon society or individuals.
co·nun·drum /kəˈnəndrəm; a confusing and difficult problem or question.
The ten top grossing sci-fi movies of all time have a total of 15,000,000,000 dollars – fifteen billion dollars. So safe to say it is a popular genre. But does that staggering total reflect and translate into real interest in science and new scientists?
And if the answer is yes, does the reality of scientific research – the endless hours in front of the computer screen, checking and re-checking facts and figures that more often than not lead to a dead-end; the prospect of an endless wait for a Eureka moment; the realisation that most never have one – lead to an above average change of course and drop-out rate?
Do sci-fi movies over-promise and science under-deliver to the detriment of the scientific community.
Does Hollywood owe any responsibility to the hand that feeds them?
Or are ‘real’ scientists born and not made. After all the ‘Big Bang Theory’ ran for 279 episodes over twelve seasons and Jim Parsons won four prime time best actor Emmys so a closer look at the ‘nerdy’ side of science is not ruled out.
However as cgi becomes more and more a goto for film makers resulting in an apparent easy option solution to every problem, is the over-promise getting worse?
Or could it be that the ‘ Ten Minute Shakespeare’ scenario (where complicated plots are distilled into manageable segments in order to get the first-time viewer interested enough to explore the Bard’s complete works) is in play and enough interest and curiosity is generated to fuel the surge in new interest educators and scientists – and the world – is hoping for?
In this case do the ends justify the means?