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Pentagon Wants Screenplays From Scientists

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the for-the-good-of-the-nation dept.

Education 757

Aix writes "According to the New York Times, the Pentagon is funding classes in screenplay writing for 15 scientists. The idea is to encourage kids to go into science and engineering through mainstream media and thereby presumably bolster long-term US national security. While it sounds like a lot of fun for the researchers involved, and anything that stems the spiral of the US into a culture of anti-intellectualism is a good thing in my book. Will glamorizing science in the movies make kids pay better attention in chemistry class?"

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glamorous (5, Funny)

talaper (529106) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251301)

"Will glamorizing science in the movies make kids pay better attention in chemistry class?"

In a word, YES.

we should all know by now that kids will immitate anything the movies (or tv) show them. just look at how many injuries were blamed on Beavis & Butthead!

Re:glamorous (0, Offtopic)

nexxuz (895394) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251316)


Re:glamorous (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251336)

Great we'll have a genearation of kids growing believing "movie" science. This won't cause any problems.

Re:glamorous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251342)

Yeah, but trying to make scientists into screen writers will not be NEARLY as effective as offering kickbacks to existing studios for including science-glamour in their plot lines.

Maybe use that tax money that would be spent on the education to instead fund a scientist-consultant for movie production. Or something like that.

Re:glamorous (1, Interesting)

ucahg (898110) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251357)

Will glamorizing science in the movies make kids pay better attention in chemistry class?


Kids will see right through it, and disdain it as they do educational movies. The instant that kids realize that they are being fed propaganda, they will reject it (and kids do realize these things).

Re:glamorous (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251379)

Also, ask anyone who provides a course on forensic science what the effect of CSI has been...

Re:glamorous (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251535)

Well, I think that the Indiana Jones movies raised the awareness of archaeology to some students (from what I've gathered from briefly browsing the web). I'm not sure that that there was a significant spike in archaeology majors in the 80s and 90s, but some individual stories do see those movies as important steps.
      Even if students go into these fields as a major, sometimes they will at least take an intro class just to get the exposure -- something they may not have done otherwise.
      Now, whether the scientists can churn out something that will arrest the public attention that the Jones movies did is doubtful... but perhaps an idea can be generated that can be turned into a solid movie (and the scientist can get a technical advisor credit). At least it might be a bit more original than a 60s TV retread -- hey wait a minute -- "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Time Tunnel"...

Re:glamorous (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251417)

We already have enough "science" showing up as "screen plays". I know Slashdot has posted about it before and I'm too lazy to look it up but everyone knows that there are "important scientific discoveries" about asteroids hitting the earth, earth shattering earthquakes, etc, all right before a movie about nearly the same topic comes out.

Re:glamorous (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251524)

And when that movie about the asteroid came out, two major SF authors went to watch it. They'd already agreed that if there were a surfer on a tsunami, they were calling their lawyers. Now, for extra geek points, name the two authors and the reason to loose the dogs of lawsuit.

Re:glamorous (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251554)

Niven & Pournelle, Lucifer's Hammer.

Re:glamorous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251566)

Just fucking tell us in the first place if you're going to bother to bring it up, Captain Useless Trivia.

Re:glamorous (3, Funny)

tbischel (862773) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251511)

It already does! Just think of where your science skills would be without the inspiration of Star Trek?

(well maybe you'd have an ACTUAL girlfriend, but thats not everything... is it?)

Re:glamorous (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251516)

watching pornos doesn't make people pay more attention in sex-ed classes. I fail to see how this will be any different.

Re:glamorous (3, Interesting)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251518)

In a word, YES.

Agreed. And shows like Futurama are awesome for this purpose as well, considering the brain mass they [] had [] .

I personally can't see anything but benefits from taking mainstream media and making it mathematically and scientifically sound. You don't lose any wow factor, but you also don't present preposterous information. Real science can be spectacularly amazing, especially some of the newer physics theories dealing with dimensions (string theory, etc.) and space-time as the fourth dimension.

I love science.

Re:glamorous (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251582)

> In a word, YES.
I know I wouldn't be a geek if it weren't for the babes, fame, money, power and recognition.
So, yeah, paying better attention in chemistry class is bound to go up.

Pefect script (3, Informative)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251588)

Camera pans to show children playing with various toys. Billy is sitting on the side by himself playing with his chemistry set. The more popular kids are playing with a football. Suddenly ten hot women come out of no where and surround Billy, cooing over him.

Suddenly something in one of the tubes starts fizzling. Suddenly the President comes into view and hands Billy a big bag of money and says, "By God Billy, you've found a cure for cancer!" Everyone starts cheering.

All the kids playing with non-science related toys get fat, ugly, and contract AIDs on the spot. They all fall over dead and no one seems to care about them. Billy is given a parade in his honor.

Roll credits.

A little extreme perhaps but I think if we made science look "cool" to little kids they'd probably buy it. If I would've seen this when I were little I'd probably have become a chemist.

gnaa early psot (1)

CmdrGoatse (800104) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251309)

Re:gnaa early psot (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251466)

more like gnaa late psot.

lol, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251311)

lol, what?

Montreal? (1)

montreal!hahahahah (880120) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251461)


Well, an anti-intellectual is heading us up though (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251313)

I would love to see more science and engineering being taught and endorsed by the federal government, but it does not help that our POTUS is endorsing the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID) as a science rather than the religiously biased belief system that it is. I don't have a problem with ID being taught as long as it can be taught along with other philosophy and religious curricula.

Re:Well, an anti-intellectual is heading us up tho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251353)

POTUS? You mean president?

Re:Well, an anti-intellectual is heading us up tho (1)

ucahg (898110) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251387)

President of the United States. It's an acronym.

In any case, Bush isn't teaching this. He was pressured into giving his opinion, and he gave it. That's all.

And it's only an opinion of one man; I don't think he means to legislate it or any such thing. He recognizes, as should everybody, that its not his jurisdiction, if you will.

Re:Well, an anti-intellectual is heading us up tho (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251391)

<acronym title="President Of The United States">POTUS</acronym>

Oh please. (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251400)

I would love to see more science and engineering being taught and endorsed by the federal government, but it does not help that our POTUS is endorsing the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID)

I loathe the concept of "intelligent design" and the way its proponents attempt to give it parity with sensible ideas, but come on. Nice formula for Karma riches...

1. Beat up on George W. Bush
2. Beat up on Micrsooft
3. ???
4. Karma profits!

Re:Oh please. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251505)

It's GWB's words. Surely one can criticize a man for taking a position that advocates the teaching of vacuous nonsense on an equal footing with science. And considering that problems attracting Americans to the sciences, the President's comments which, on top of all the nonsense in Dover, Kansas, and the crap that Santorum has been spewing, are not likely to fill the scientific community with glee.

Re:Oh please. (0, Offtopic)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251508)

1. Beat up on George W. Bush

This is the leader of the free world who has shown a repeated disdain for intellectualism and rigorous thought. He did not listen to the analysts at the CIA and told them to go back again and again until they came up with the data he wanted to see. This is not how to run science or a country. What should have been done as with any hypothesis is to form that hypothesis (Iraq had WMD) and then attempt to disprove that theory rather than find evidence to support it. When you failed to disprove that theory, then you act and possibly take a country to war.

The lack of scientific and engineering education in this country has implications for all facets of society.

2. Beat up on Micrsooft

I call it like I see it. Microsoft has done some cool stuff and some not so cool stuff. Most of the folks on Slashdot are not stupid and they call it like they see it as well.

3. ???


4. Karma profits!

The way it should go is that you should be brave enough to stand up for what you believe. If there is a price to pay, so be it, but hey dude. I've got karma to burn and burn and burn.

You ignored my point. (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251560)

My point was not that you are wrong about George W. Bush, but that bringing up GWB's stance on intelligent design in a discussion of scientist's creating movies is off-topic and that you likely did it for the inevitable mod points you would accumulate.

Clue stick. Re:Well, an anti-intellectual is... (-1, Troll)

hypnagogue (700024) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251482)

Bush has never endorsed the teaching of Intelligent Design as a science rather than religion. That's simply a fabrication intended to karma bait the Bush haters. Congratulations on your success -- but you are still a troll.

Re:Well, an anti-intellectual is heading us up tho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251488)

Yesterday called, and it wants that comment back. Seriously, your comment belongs in yesterday's thread, not this one. Did you get impatient waiting for the dupe?

Besides, the President (or POTUS, if you want to try being all cool and using an acronym), can't put ID into schoolbooks any easier than you can get into the Oval Office. It'd take the House, Senate, local officials, and schoolteachers. Shortly thereafter it would require the Supreme Court to rule favorably, too. Not likely, so it doesn't matter what Mr. Bush thinks on it.

Re:Well, an anti-intellectual is heading us up tho (1)

nickos (91443) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251529)

America should probably do what the French have done and ban the teaching of religion in schools. They teach philosophy instead and leave religion and other superstitions out of it.

Personally I don't see how anyone can advocate teaching "Intelligent Design" as an alternative to evolution. How do dinosaurs fit into ID, and if we're talking about theories why not bring in the tooth fairy and scientology as well?

The only problem with ID is that it IS going (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251581)

to lead to the restoration of the 'Its the will of Allah/God/Yaweh/insert_name_of_deity_here' to explain everything that requires any actual work to find out.

Its a lazy and cheap solution that 'explains' nothing and avoids having to provide any deep answers.

I grew up with that kind of crap in a Catholic school. The beloved answer to any 'hard' question was 'Its a mystery.' Accept that for an answer and pretty soon the 'mystery' gets wider and wider until its a mystery why you're even asking the question.

My favorite answer of that type is a reply given to students looking into some part of nuclear physics. Would you trust students who were told that something was just 'the will of Allah.'

Were talking nuclear physics here. The kind of stuff that goes boom in a pretty mushroom cloud.

I worry more about the Iranian nuclear program when they start accepting those answers than if they actually admitted that they don't know everything but were damn well going to try and find out.

Otherwise the worst nightware scenarios just got likelier.

Just an Idea (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251314)

Perhaps the Pentagon should pay a visit to President Bush and explain why the advocating of empty pseudo-scientific rhetoric designed to get Creationism past the Constitution may play some part in harming science in the US.

Re:Just an Idea (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251352)

shh, he's on his 40th vacation this year, don't wake him up, he'll only make it worse ...

Personally, I'm waiting for an inspired playwright to use DOD money to write a humorous play called "Golfing With Bob In Iraq or Where's My Camel?"

More of a laughfest than Angels in America was.

Re:Just an Idea (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251465)

Perhaps someone could pen "The President, the Discovery Institute and Why Americans Speak Chinese in 2112"

Re:Just an Idea (1)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251502)

Creationism and Intelligent Design: life was created by some extra-natural force, assumingly the author of the universe.

Abiogenesis (what is taught in schools): life was created from non-life. Because this goes against the law of Biogenesis -- the observable fact that all life comes from other life -- abiogenesis is an un-natural force (at least, until the law of Biogenesis is proven wrong).

I'm not saying one or the other is right or wrong, I think that's a personal decision, but I am making an observation that both require non-natural forces for the creation of life.

Re:Just an Idea (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251542)

You are aware, I trust that modern theories of abiogenesis are not the same as the idea that Pasteur falsified. Why does this canard keep getting repeated? Nothing in modern abiogenesis research requires "non-natural" (whatever that is) forces. The theories aren't complete, but can you name a theory that is complete?

ID is non-science. It's vacuous garbage designed to get past the ban on teaching religion in schools. It has no explanatory power. What kids should be taught in science class is science.

I wonder.. (3, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251318)

...will they produce something more interesting than what Hollywood makes? ..wouldn't be hard, really..

Oops - clarification (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251349)

"than what Hollywood NORMALLY makes" Wouldn't want confusion, these gyus are working in Hollywood too.

If Movie Science Got Any Sexier... (4, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251325)

The astro-physicists would all be wearing low-cut gowns.

Does anybody really think there is any shortage of glamorous mathematicians or two-fisted archaeologists in Hollywood? Not to mention they are frequently written as the Voice of Reason, Saving the Day, Etc. The era of scientists being depicted as whining and dreary eggheads who cowardly scamper about in the shadow of the macho leading man left vogue with Doctor Zarkov.

Oh, and not for nothing, you can teach science, but you cannot teach creativity. The government would be better served rounding up a couple dozen young but semi-established script-writers and giving them a crash course in astronomy. Of course, commissioning some Haiku from a bunch of Quantum Physicists would be pretty cool, in a Mondo 2000 kind of way...

Re:If Movie Science Got Any Sexier... (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251393)

The astro-physicists would all be wearing low-cut gowns.

I see you missed Godzilla: Final Wars.

Loved the scientist in that one, she reminded me of one of our research students here in Biochem who's from Japan.

Re:If Movie Science Got Any Sexier... (2, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251447)

Oh, and not for nothing, you can teach science, but you cannot teach creativity.

I don't believe this, myself. Nor do I believe that scientists are inherently uncreative (or at least any more so than semi-established script-writers.)

Re:If Movie Science Got Any Sexier... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251478)

Ugh, the "can't teach creativity" line. It's not really true. Creativity is 'fostered' by teachers, quite effectively, by teaching people how to make use of their creative instincts. Most people can be 'taught' how to 'improve' their creativity, just as people can learn perfect pitch or how to draw. Even surreal anarchic comedy is 'fostered'.

Re:If Movie Science Got Any Sexier... (2, Interesting)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251565)

Oh, and not for nothing, you can teach science, but you cannot teach creativity

Agreed- but science is all about cretivity as well. You can teach anyone FACTS of science, but I don't think you can teach them to BE a scientist... in the same way I can hand any person a script and tell them to memorize it, they could read back what I gave them, but they might not bring out the life of the script the way an actor would.

While the country was in love with space movies and sci-fi in the 60's and 70's, public intrest in Appollo dwindled a bit. It was not as exciting as the movies made it out to be. Perhaps a film can be made that will make science seem "exciting" and be a box-office hit, but the principles behind what makes a good movie and what makes good science could not be further apart. This idea has it's heart in the right place, but it's not going anywhere.

SDD-51 (1)

TomTraynor (82129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251327)

I can see the new show SDD-51. Science Development Department - Area 51....

Scientific movies!? (1, Funny)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251334)

We already have those!!! Haven't you seen "The Day After Tomorrow"? It's like the most scientifically accurate movie ever.

Re:Scientific movies!? (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251435)

I just hope that killer frost never comes after me. That stuff is SMART!

Re:Scientific movies!? (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251498)

Actually, the day after tommorow was based on Art Bell and Whitley Strieber's book The Coming Global Superstorm. In the book they are clear that it is hypothetical-
What I like about it, is that it refutes the idiots that say "there is no global warming because it we had a cold winter and the summer isn't that hot..." (There was a letter in the Cleve. Plain Dealer a couple months ago saying that because whe had a late snow (late march, 8inches in Ohio) global warming si a joke, and the letter writer would keep driving his SUV etc...) Global warming will lead to screwed up weather, not just hot weather. Change the currents in the ocean, and GB could quickly become cold like Siberia....

That's why I'm in I.T. (2, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251335)

Because I saw this [] glamorous,compelling drama, and I wanted to be just like the protagonist. ^_^

Re:That's why I'm in I.T. (1, Funny)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251394)

Don't be hatin on Hackers, afterall Angeline Jolie's tits are shown in it...any movie that does that gets an A in my book :)

Re:That's why I'm in I.T. (1)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251439)

I saw bits and pieces of that movie and just wanted to get into Angelina Jolie's pants. The rest of the movie was just window dressing, bad window dressing at that, but that is all the movie was.

    I thought the entire film was nothing more then a commercial to raise awareness of the promise of what lies within Angelina Jolie's pants...

Re:That's why I'm in I.T. (5, Insightful)

finse (63518) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251512)

Seriously, for me this flick from the 80's [] helped fuel my disire to learn more about computers & software. Although, after seeing this movie with my father (I was 8 or 9), he forbid me from using a modem until I was 18.

They can adapt screenplays from... (1)

jhw3 (839537) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251337)

... this guy [] , who summarizes life as a scientist (well, a young scientist) pretty darn well.

I don't think it will work. (1)

daviq (888445) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251339)

I don't think it will work. The Discovery channel and others tried this through shows like Junkyard Wars. But it always seemed that they started losing their audience and so they hired hosts that knew nothing about science. You could argue the point that the Discovery channel has shows about engineering, but only geeky kids watch them.

Forget Superman... (2, Insightful)

kurenai (31529) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251341)

... we need MacGyver!

MacGyver (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251390)

Worked for me.
My goal at the end of highschool was to "work on something cool".

So I became an engineer, unfortunately only I find my work cool.

Anti-intellectualinism (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251348)

While it sounds like a lot of fun for the researchers involved, and anything that stems the spiral of the US into a culture of anti-intellectualism is a good thing in my book.

Pot. Kettle. Fragment.

Stargate etc. (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251354)

Well, the first 30 minutes of Stargate were pretty cool, but linguistics is more of a soft science, not even close to engineering science. How about a screenplay based on The Gadget Maker [] ? It's a fascinating tale about an aerospace engineer, with explosions, rockets and missile design.

This is outrageous! (1)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251360)

I demand equal time for the teaching of scripts for both science.... and Scifi.

Just like the president said we should. OK kids.... 1 for science, one for ID, one for science...

Fat chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251364)

Of course, they'll never allow anything fun like The Manhattan Project [] or Real Genius [] . Good movies about kids and science end up making the kids look like mini-terrorists.

Your answer (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251365)

Will glamorizing science in the movies make kids pay better attention in chemistry class?


the problem will fix itself (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251369)

People are perhaps making too much of the slide of the US's ability to produce science and technology graduates.

The problem will basically fix itself. A reduced number of tech grads will drag the economy down, which will lower the standard of living, which will make people look for more financially sound jobs, which will lead students back to sci/tech.

The intervening drop in living standards has probably already begun, and is likely unavoidable.

October Sky (1)

SCO_Shill (805054) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251370)

I thought this was a good movie to introduce kids to science. Wasn't really technical or anything, but learning about rockets is always fun.

that's annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251388)

Speaking as someone who went to college for screenwriting in LA and considers it a full time job, I find it annoying that that these NASA people are getting all this exclusive training. Who knows if they even care or will use it,... and they are getting a lot more than many people who work their asses off. They probably didn't even know who Syd Field was...

I wish I had government funding.

Complicated (3, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251398)

I don't think it is an A leads to B thing- Movies won't make kids automatically interested in science, however I think a lot of people were inspired by the cold war to get into science, and movies that made the Russians look bad got American kids into science, and vice versa.
Whatever your opinion of the administration- Imagine if W had a conference, said that we are going to get rid of our need for foreign oil w/in 10 years, and got scientists etc. going with the support they deserve and need- it could be like JFK's moon challenge.
It isn't just movies that influence people- we need a whole atmosphere of education in the US.
Of course, another way to do this would to bring kids to 15 year reunions, when the football team captains have gotten fat and work at car washes, and the high school nerds are making great money in great jobs.... Education is cool man.

Ain't gonna happen (1)

sheldon (2322) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251545)

Two reasons I don't see this happening:
  - It would be bad for the oil companies and Saudi princes Bush is beholden to.
  - It was something John Kerry suggested during the campaign.

Although the second reason isn't as strong as the first.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251409)

I have to agree. I was "turned on" to computing by movies like War Games and Tron.

Why not get something out there that inspires interest- and better yet, from real scientists!

Whenever I see the industry trying to get more girls into science/computing by making GameBoys with pink cases, that's another thing entirely (and yes, I'm a girl)...

It Worked for Me! (4, Funny)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251413)

After watching the LOTR trilogy I have now been trying to make my very own One Ring! I also have been trying to learn how to cast Magic Missile and Root spells as well, but they are on the backburner until I can make my magic invisibility ring using a bunsen burner, a gold-plated $5 ring and some Methanol.

Tolkien wasn't a scientist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251569)

and LOTR has no scientific content. Moron.

I know, you were just trying to be funny, but it didn't work. You fail it.

Uh oh, I'm in academia, and getting mixed messages (3, Insightful)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251415)

This seems like an awkward time for them to do this, considering as how they just slashed funding for hard research (DARPA) and schools all over have been scrambling to find new sources of funding.

Wow! a TROLL in the middle of the editorial! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251418)

"...anything that stems the spiral of the US into a culture of anti-intellectualism is a good thing in my book."

What a surprise! Someone's self-important arrogance is immolated by conservatives who are chastising moonbats for their ignorance and stupidity! Oh, that must mean that conservatives are knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (which Neanderthal skeletons were found to be just Homo sapiens, but don't let that stop you from thinking of them as one of the missing links) because they don't drink our Kook-Aid of Lunacy!

Bitch, please! You moonbats are nothing but asstriches. (An asstrich is someone who instead of sticks his head in the sand sticks it in his own ass (which is a far worse and derogatory way of saying you're just believing in your own bullshit, much like people in insane asylums do).) Pull your fucking heads out of your own asses and meet the rest of us normal, sane people in something that we like to call Reality(TM), mmmkay? KTHX!

Re: unfortunately, you're an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251570)

very unfortunately, you are an idiot. hardly anyone in the field thinks neanderthals were any "missing link." they're not a missing link.

the other strike against you is that they WEREN'T actually found to be neanderthals. you're obviously not acquainted with the research.

One word my friend (1)

kashani (2011) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251419)


Because it really is all about shocking terrorists with high voltage or shooting homemade missles at drug lords.


Movie Physics website (5, Informative)

HonkyLips (654494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251423)

They could do worse than begin by visitng this site: [] which examines physics in Hollywood movies. The reviews alone are priceless.

Movies aren't scientific!? (2, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251431)

I challenge anyone who thinks movies today aren't scientific to watch the original Jurassic Park.

"Hey this is Unix. I know Unix"

With scientific banter like that, what purpose does the government have in getting involved?!

15 Scientists collaborating on a screenplay? (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251446)

Oh, that sounds great!
I can't wait to see it! How could it possibly not be great? And you're right, it sounds like it will be glamorous too.

Aha!, the last piece of the puzzle is in place... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251462)

Screenplay eh? Looking for writers eh?

Let's review some recent articles, shall we?

The always flame generating "Creation Vs Evolution" thread

A "freedom of information Vs. privacy" thread (with an added Republican "flame starter")

A "Window's is OK thread"

Ok, that's it, you're laying ground for a "Slashdot Reality TV Series" aren't you? c'mon, admit it!

I can see it now, titled something like "Tweak the Geek".

Here, let me write your first episode:

Make a prank call to RMS pretending to be a Microsoft Attorney. Tell him that MS software engineers have reviewed the HURD source and found several instances where thier patent of "using alpha-numeric strings to represent variables" has been used without premission from MS.

then watch the fireworks ensue.

or...maybe not...

Anti-intellectualism? (-1, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251464)

Go fuck yourself.

The only one on a downward spiral is you. SAT scores, both written and verbal, are as high as they've been in 25 years.

Kids are getting smarter, not dumber. That's just a pompous myth from the ivory pedestals of the far left.

Re:Anti-intellectualism? (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251564)

While the kids may be getting smarter (I don't consider SAT scores to be a measure of intelligence, but that's a topic for another discussion), the adults seem to be getting dumber. I'd consider your post to be evidence, but you're most likely some 14 year old kid that doesn't know what he's talking about.

drama in science (2, Interesting)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251467)

Actually what I would like to see dramatized in a movie related to science is probably not what they are thinking of. One thing that will probably end up in there is the mystery, the process of discovery, etc..and all that can be compelling. But I think perhaps what is more important in the life of a scientist nowadays is the stuggle between the values of pure discovery and curiosity with the practical pressures of career, money, etc. That's the value axis I would like to see in a movie. The pressures of publication and of obtaining money for grants often press on one's sense of ethics, and most scientists are faced at some point with making the choice of personal sacrifice for the sake of science on one hand, or personal gain on the other. My scientist protagonist would struggle with that choice...

heh (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251480)

I just imagined 15 of a 50's version of a "scientist" locked in a basement somewhere trying to figure out what the world funniest joke is.

"My Dog has no nose."
"How does it smell?"
-they all die

Its a party in my head, all day long!

Scripts are not enough (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251481)

They need good plots!

I mean, look what they did to Fantastic Four...

Wouldn't Stargate SG-1 be a good example? (5, Interesting)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251484)

Stargate SG1, while being sci-fi, does try to adhere to real science and real scientific theory in many ways. Granted, some aspects can't simply to maintain the story. But a lot of the stuff they discuss and use is based in real theory. If more sci-fi shows would at least try to do that, I think it would be helpful.

The thing is, I don't know that this kind of stuff really brings kids into science, no matter how much real theory they use. And frankly, when it comes to higher degrees, where the money is can be a big driver. During the .com boom, tons of kids where going into computer science programs and there was a sudden overflow of programmers, right around the time it went bust.

I was a chemistry major my freshman year. Certainly not because of the money. The reason I left it was I had this sudden vision of what life would be like as a chemist and I thought, "Oh God, how boring." And that was the end of it for me.

My girlfriend in college went into comp. sci. because of the money. When she graduated and got her first job doing it, the first thing she said was, "God, this is so boring." I said, "Well, didn't you like it in school?" She said, "No." I said, "Well what made you think doing it for a living was going to be any more fun?"

Needless to say, her career as a programmer was short-lived.

So I guess my point is, money will attract people, but it's the interest that keeps them. I think glamorizing it might bring some kids to find interest in it, but the fact is, most science jobs aren't all that glamourous and getting hit by the reality of that may make careers short-lived.

Stephen Baxter? (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251486)

Why not just commission a few screenplays from Stephen [] Baxter [] ? Great hard SF writer. Sure, he's a brit, but nobody's perfect. :P

What about... (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251491)

The Core? That movie was approved by scientists.

If only we could mine enough unobtainium we COULD go to the Earth's core and start it spinning with a couple of nukes. You know, just like a butterfly hitting the Empire State Building starts it toppling over.

Re:What about... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251558)

You know, just like a butterfly hitting the Empire State Building starts it toppling over.

      It's possible in theory, but it would have to be one FAST moving butterfly... :)

wargames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251493)

If it wasn't for seeing the film "Wargames" very very early on in my life, I'd have not spent my teenage years getting excited about running linux on a 486 sx-25 overclocked to 33mhz. This was in the pentium 2 days folks.

I blame Matthew Broderick for making me believe that spending all day in my room looking at a CLI would make a girl like Ally Sheedy love me.

Oh how it hurt to realise that I wasted my youth!

How about... (2, Insightful)

Luveno (575425) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251495)

... making science jobs in the government extremely well-paying, so people flow to them naturally?

As long as it reachers the screen intact... (1)

GJSchaller (198865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251506)

I've seen articles (in print, sorry I can't link) that detail what happens when science hits the screen, but it's not portrayed accurately - it's called the "CSI effect." People who see this pseudo-science on TV think it's accurate, and then when on juries, demand evidence that they "know" the prosecution / defense can produce. Even when someone explains to the jury that CSI is fictional, they don't seem to realize that that includes the science as well.

The last thing we need is for scientists to write accurate scripts, which are then altered to show incorrect information, and Hard Science is then seen as "wrong, because the movies we saw said otherwise!"

Hey now... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251515)

Wouldn't this be a great new way to get your funding requests approved. Not only can you read my proposal, but you can SEE THE PLAY!

  Watch in awe as the poor Scientist Hero struggles against opression and tyranny and battles with the Evil Finance Committee Member who always voted to deny his Funding Request for the project that could Save The World. Who will win? Find out...

WTF? "Creative" facts? Dear god, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13251530)

Doesn't this fill anyone else with misgivings? We've already had plenty of inventive facts when it comes to Iraq and Iran from our political leaders...

I'd rather not explicitly nuture storytelling impulses among a community which is supposed to function based on the correctness of the data, as opposed to how well a particular hypothesis plays in Peoria!

Look at Iraq... the facts for "Looming threat and mushroom cloud" obviously made for better stories than the "Actually, not much has changed" better-facts.

This is like having a program to help police be "creative" in their arrests...

not even close (5, Insightful)

sewagemaster (466124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251536)

if you see what's on tv, you'll find so many shows dedicated to doctors (ER, grey's acadamy, chicago hope) lawyers (law and order: special victims unit, criminal intent, trial by jury) and cops (CSI miami, ny).

you never hear anyone even mention engineers in movies or tv series. it's got to do with the social culture of the states. 100% of the political leaders in China have an engineering or science degree. In the states? none! (source: IEEE spectrum magazine June 2005).

Hah! (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251539)

Only 15 scientists? When I was in grad school at UCLA, we'd have a constant stream of production assistants coming to look at our labs to get ideas for set design. They'd be besieged by grad students, postdocs and the occasional professor, all shoving screenplays at them. (Because, you know, a PA has anything to do with what screenplay gets picked up...) Meanwhile, the PAs would be moaning "I hate my job. I wish I did something important and fulfilling like you!"

I took a screenwriting class myself, there. (Hey it was free for us, and the instructor was some big shot whose name I forget.) There was also my brief moonlighting stint as a paparazzo, which foundered due to my inability to recognize celebrities...

has happened before (1)

doodzed (35795) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251543)

This already happened in the 50's right after the Soviets started launching rockets. I would suggest you check out "Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land."

In the movie Donald learns that not only is math usefull in everyday life, it can be fun as well. One of my all time favorites. Remember watching it in Calc class in high school as we were all fans of the movie. []

Two words (1)

tenor_clef (815162) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251550)

Lara Croft

Two words: (1)

CompSci101 (706779) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251552)

Forensic Investigator.

Why? CSI and its ilk have shown a cooler side to using science to solve real-world problems.

The problem is that people enter (or try to enter) the field with unrealistic expectations because some of the technology depicted in the show is still on the level of sci-fi equipment.

It still doesn't change the fact that more people are interested in the field *because* they saw cool things happen with it on TV.


The geek's solution... (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251555)

My solution would involve replacing nbc, cbs, fox, .... and all those crummy networks with space, discovery, outdoor life, history, or whatever else that actually has substance. This mindless cliche crap is ruining a whole generation and if the people don't like it and watch less TV even better!

Secondly, make MBA's difficult to obtain once again (no degree in exchange for money anymore!!!) and put a cap on the number of lawyers being graduated.

Thirdly pay scientists and engineers what they deserve! Little pay and lots of overtime isn't very atractive. It's no joke that some businessmen keep us locked up in the basement while they make millions.

it works.Proof of Concept=Bill Nye the Science Guy (1)

ghee22 (781277) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251568)

This show definitely did it for me. He taught me more than just individual science projects; he taught me that "science is cool".

If were a kid today and watched his show, I definitely see a lot more of my time (as a kid) going on the internet to learn ( rather than playing games and chatting on AIM (which is what I see a lot of kids do today).

ps: his raps were hilarious

God damn it!!! (1)

thepeete (189121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251584)

We need an actor.

I think this is a strangely sound idea... (1)

Nijika (525558) | more than 9 years ago | (#13251586)

How far did Arthur C. Clarke advance interest in spatial aeronautics and computing? That's just one example, I'm sure there are hundreds more.

If this produces even one influential work, it would be a benefit to both the arts and science. Science treated with even a modicum of respect in fiction, and a work of fiction from far outside the perspective of a talented generalist.

Personally I'm looking forward to seeing what pops out.

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