Wrinkle in Time and fictional scientists

SLForsburg susan_forsburg at qm.salk.edu
Wed Jan 4 11:26:43 EST 1995


oconne18 at pilot.msu.edu  (Kevin P. O'Connell) wrote:
>
> Hi all!
>  
> I also read "A Wrinkle in Time" as a child, and loved it.  I'm not sure what
> influence it had on my decision to become a scientist, but it certainly 
> portrayed scientists as loving, caring, spiritual human beings, which 
> certainly didn't hurt!  I think scientists get a bad rap in fiction in 
> general.  Most popular books and movies depicting scientists cast them as
> megalomaniacal world-destroyers, or at best, frizzy-haired dotty forget-
> their-ass-if-not-attached people who build time machines out of Deloreans.
> Go figure.

I think we have a REAL problem in how the world sees us.  There are
two types of scientist that appear in popular culture.  There is the
distant old gray bearded guy, a bit like the high priest of science
interpretting it for the minions, who is out of touch with the real
world, and there is the young, ambitious,
immoral guy who will do anything for money/glory without regard for
its consequences. Neither of these are women.   If 
not actually the baddie, scientists are not
usually goodies either.  Where is the diversity of people who actually
DO science?  The idealism?  The compulsion to KNOW?  Why can't scientists
be seen as heros in popular culture?  

oh well, just another voice in the wilderness....

susan
susan_forsburg at qm.salk.edu




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