Scientists often consult on Hollywood films because they believe that fictional films will heighten awareness of their research areas. Fictional films are very persuasive promotional tools because scientists and filmmakers create representations with the purpose of convincing audiences that these images accurately reflect the “natural world.” In addition, these representations are embedded in a narrative framework designed to encourage this belief and further the impression that the scientific scenarios are plausible. Fictional film’s ability to create images of “scientific possibilities,” both positive and negative, convinces scientists that “realistic” depictions will enhance funding opportunities and promote research agendas.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science consultants, fictional films, and the "war games effect”

David A. Kirby   Duke University

Scientists often consult on Hollywood films because they believe that fictional films will heighten awareness of their research areas. Fictional films are very persuasive promotional tools because scientists and filmmakers create representations with the purpose of convincing audiences that these images accurately reflect the “natural world.” In addition, these representations are embedded in a narrative framework designed to encourage this belief and further the impression that the scientific scenarios are plausible. Fictional film’s ability to create images of “scientific possibilities,” both positive and negative, convinces scientists that “realistic” depictions will enhance funding opportunities and promote research agendas.

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