RR Films: Science

Against the background noise of people still believing stupid things like the Earth is flat, that we can do what we want to it with no ill effect and that truth is a matter of opinion, it’s wonderful to see the result of serious people doing serious work and getting closer to fighting Huntington’s disease (and many other things, like being able to edit genetic problems from DNA). I hope they find a cure for the disease of conceit (as Bob called it) sometime soon.

So, films with a scientific bent this week, preferably containing more fact than fiction (sci-fi is a possible future topic….). There have been many biopics of brilliant minds and accounts of scientific breakthroughs, so let’s hear which ones you were convinced and/or entertained by. I’ll pick the winner of last year’s Screen Actors Guild top award, Hidden Figures.

It may have been an imperfect film but it was a valuable lesson about the immense contribution made to space exploration by women of colour in ridiculously difficult circumstances, back when computers were actual people (albeit ones treated like inanimate objects).

What films about science and/or scientists would you recommend?

10 thoughts on “RR Films: Science

  1. Concur with your choice Chris, which was a surprise gem.

    The interplay between the ‘race for space’ and the racial and gender inequalities was brilliantly portrayed – loved it.

  2. Science is generally handled pretty badly in films, as far as I can see. I was tempted to nom “Weird Science” on the basis that the plot was hardly much more risible than any serious films that I’ve ever seen about actual science and scientists. The problem, it seems to me, is that the screenplays of such films tend to be about the people rather than about the science, and tend to play up the melodramatic aspects of the stories, or tend to be largely imaginary.

    I’ve tried to separate out actual science from technology, engineering and other examples of applied science, and that doesn’t leave much, certainly not much that I’ve ever seen. I’ll admit that I am really struggling to come up with anything here.

  3. Mentioned just because we seem to be so short of ideas, rather than because I thought it was an especially great film: The Dish, which I sat through (someone had lent Mrs Abahachi the dvd) a few months ago, is about the scientists running a radio-telescope in Australia, who have to play a crucial role in relaying signals for the moon landing. Based on a true story, so a rather odd mixture of dramatic moments and slice-of-outback-life scenes with a strangely flat ending.

  4. I like the film Awakenings. But it’s a heart string tugger. Research doctor administers experimental Parkinsons drug to catatonic patients struck down by encephalitis with endearing results although not long lasting.

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