Mass media (TV, Newspaper, movies) and social media (Online videos, blogs and Facebooks) are highly influencing in those countries that have great network infrastructure. Social media influence people and they may think that whatever science is present in these media is accurate and true. In science fiction movie, medical drama and catastrophe films may often contain “kernel of scientific truth” which maybe of varying degrees of accuracy. (Claudia et.al, 2010). A study indicates that the role that a viewer perceives science plays in a movie may be important to the influence that science facts have on real-world beliefs, but it also depends on who the viewer is (Claudia et.al, 2010).
So let’s take a look at some wrong science in movies:
Movie #1 The Core
“In ‘The Core,’ the Earth’s inner core has stopped rotating and our magnetic field is tearing apart. Microwave radiation is ripping through out atmosphere causing havoc everywhere. In actuality, the earth’s magnetic field has little effect on microwave radiation. So none of this makes sense. Also, getting to the center of the Earth? Highly unlikely.”
Movie #2 Interstellar
“It’s a scientific fact that humans would not survive the leap into a black hole in space. Making the entire plot of ‘Interstellar’ scientifically inaccurate. Just the things that make a hit in Hollywood.”
Movie #3 Outbreak
“The plot of ‘Outbreak’ is as good as an infectious disease movie can get. Spike the monkey was sent to the USA ripe with the Motaba virus. It’s Dustin Hoffman’s job to stop the virus, prevent an outbreak, and take down a bomb-happy Donald Sutherland. It was an intense two hours, only in reality, a viral inoculation takes years to develop which would have made for a very long movie.”
Movie #4 Armageddon
“The movie ‘Armageddon’ was so full of mistakes, NASA uses it in training to see if their newbies can point out all 168 scientific and factual errors. Here is just one: After crashing on the asteroid, A.J. walks outside surveying the wreckage while debris is strewn out burning on the ground. This is quite wrong. Oxygen is needed to make something burn, and there is no oxygen on the asteroid.”
In 2012, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) hosted “Hollywood & Science,” a webinar that focused on the importance of having scientists and directors work together. Since the 1920s and 1930s, filmmakers have employed scientists to read scripts, hang out on sets and provide feedback during production.
Seldom do i think about the science while watching movie. I guess the thrill , following the storyline, understanding the message of the director trying to bring across is more than the science that I care. I am glad that wrong science are pointed and more importantly, scientists are working together with directors to produce a good, compelling story together with accurate scientific information.
- Claudia A. Barriga, Michael A. Shapiro and Marissa L. Fernandez (2010). Science Information in Fictional Movies: Effects of Context and Gender, Science Communication, 32, 3