They looked at 33 different movies and divided them into five categories:
- "Contemporary Social Realism": set in the present or near future, presented as realistic
Example: The Boys from Brazil, Jurassic Park
- "Future Social Realism": set in the future, presented as realistic
Example: The Island
- "Science Fiction/Fantasy": set in the far future or a distant galaxy
Examples: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Star Trek:Nemesis
Examples: Sleeper, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
- "Gone and Forgotten": Movies that tanked at the box office or are rarely seen
Examples: The Clones of Bruce Lee, Replikator: Cloned to Kill
The best of the bunch science-wise:
I don't think that it's particularly surprising that the most scientifically-realistic movies are those set in the near future, and have few science-fictional elements other than human cloning (does that make them mundane SF?). Scientific accuracy isn't what makes a box office hit, though. Blockbusters like Jurassic Park and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones end up influencing popular culture simply because so many people have seen them. That's which is why their science is worth discussing, even if it has little basis in real life.
Biotechnology Australia followed up with a second report, "Biotechnology at the Movies", which looks at a wider range of movies, from The Andromeda Strain (1971) to Children of Men (2006). Their conclusion:
"The study concluded that the science was, for the most part, seriously flawed, and that while the films may raise awareness, the quality of public debate on biotechnology is not generally enhanced by its depiction in films."I'm doubt that will change any time soon, since stories with scientists oblivious to the ethical implications and potentially dangerous consequences of their experiments sell movie tickets.
Tags:science fiction, cloning, movies