“Life Out There”
The Library of Congress’s first resident astrobiologist takes inspiration from both Carl Sagan and Jerry Garcia.
- By Pat Trenner
- AirSpaceMag.com, November 16, 2012
Courtesy David Grinspoon
(Page 3 of 3)
Did I say that? How intemperate! That movie cut some serious corners. The quality of science in films is often quite poor. The model is that producers hire a “science advisor” who comes in after the story is mostly done and gives them some nerdy jargon to make the film seem more credible. There are web sites that advise aspiring science advisors to “Remember, the story comes first”. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the whole thing is based on a premise that is stupid and creates misconceptions, as long as you can sneak in some science lessons or vocabulary. Well, what about actually having the science drive the story? That’s what has shaped the few really excellent science fiction films. The best is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Other good ones are Contact, The Andromeda Strain, Blade Runner, and Gattaca. These filmmakers started with the science and built a story around its wildest implications.