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In this Book, A Scientist and Dedicated Film Enthusiast Discusses the Portrayal of Science in more than One Hundred Films, including science fiction, scientific biographies, and documentaries. Beginning with early films like Voyage to the Moon and Metropolis and concluding with more recent offerings like The Matrix, War of the Worlds, A Beautiful Mind, and An Inconvenient Truth, Sidney Perkowitz questions how much faith we can put into Hollywood's depiction of scientists and their work, how accurately these films capture scientific fact and theory, whether cataclysms like our collision with a comet can actually happen, and to what extent these films influence public opinion about science and the future. Bringing together history, scientific theory, and humorous observation, Hollywood Science features dozens of film stills and a list of the all-time best and worst science-fiction movies.
Hollywood Science is great fun... I give it two thumbs up!
Hollywood Science is a treat for anyone who looks from their television set to the Moon.
An exceptionally accessible book, Hollywood Science provides a very good catalog of the ways Hollywood has used and abused science.
An engaging and fun read.
An entertaining, maybe indispensable guide for film buffs everywhere.
"A grand roundup of technical movie masterpieces... praising scientific accuracy ( A Beautiful Mind) and exposing turkeys ( Volcano).
— Claude Lalumière
— David Schneider
A fascinating read that will have you heading to your local DVD store.
This is a terrific book... Essential.
— John Findura
— Neil Easterbrook
Preface: A Personal Note ix
1 Looking for Science in the Movies?: Check Out Science Fiction Films First 3
Part I Dangers from Nature
2 Alien Encounters 19
3 Devastating Collisions 49
4 Our Violent Planet 67
Part II Dangers from Ourselves
5 Atoms Unleashed 93
6 Genes and Germs Gone Bad 116
7 The Computers Take Over 142
Part III The Good, The Bad, and The Real
8 Scientists as Heroes, Nerds, and Villains 167
9 Solid Science and Quantum Loopiness: Golden Eagles and Golden Turkeys 196
10 Hollywood Science vs. Real Science 213
Afterword: Finding Real Science in the Movies and Beyond 227
Appendix: Alongside Hollywood Science, There's Popcorn Science 229
Further Reading and Viewing 231