Scientific speed dating aims to improve the accuracy of television and movies.

Did you get out of the movie theater and say to your partner, “wow, the science in that movie is great?”

You might think, here, Jodie foster is looking for extraterrestrial intelligence in the current classic movie “contact”. Or, when matt Damon into Mars out recently, or played by Amy Adams and Jeremy renner’s clever linguists and theoretical physicist with heptapods team arrived in communication.

We can name one of the favorites. (I’m pretty sure my 13.7 colleague, Adam frank, will be on TV The Expanse.)

Can you also come up with a problem – a movie that makes science so wrong, just ridiculous?

A program called science and entertainment exchange, conducted by the national academy of sciences (NAS), aims to ensure that scientific researchers become history in movies, TV shows and video games. Last week, I joined six other scientists in the exchange’s “science speed dating” campaign to improve the accuracy of scientific representation on large screens and small screens.

Our scientists have seven minutes to explain the basic knowledge of our research, and made seven times like this, in the designated room between fast moving, seven people in the entertainment business, plus some of the public interested in science) to wait. We were encouraged to bring a prop that could be carried in our hands, but no slides or video clips were allowed.

Invited on the night of the scientists is synthetic biologists at Harvard University and the astrobiologist Betul Kacar, theoretical physicist and climate scientists from Columbia University Kate Marvel, from Dana Farber cancer institute of computational biologist and cancer researcher John Quackenbush, volcanologists from the Carnegie institution for science Diana Roman, Einstein outstanding educator researcher, electrical engineer Energetics of Incorporated (nasdaq: PCLN – news), Emmanuel Taylor chemist Sharon Sikora, anthropologists and the college of William and Mary.

At the end of the activity gave me an email, program director Rick Loverd explained that since it was founded in 2008, the exchange center held about 250 different types of activities, including about a dozen scientific speed dating party:

“The exchange has completed the relevant feature films, television shows and video games more than 2100 consultations, is one of the most common form of consultation by the writers, producers, directors, studio director or call our actor 844. The NEED. The SCI hotline, any entertainment professional concerned with science, engineering or medical issues, is free to contact field experts. ”

But that night, we didn’t call. We need to appeal to the audience a few feet away from us in our short 420 second packaging. I work hard in seven minutes, not only to convey the basic knowledge of the animal capacity for love and grief, but also bring about individual animals elephants, chimpanzees and fish emotional and cognitive several stories. My audience. At the end of the day, I touched on the ethics of how we treat (and eat) animals as a society.

The seven people were so welcoming and thoughtful that they often sent me to the next room (because I couldn’t breathe) and cheered.

Finally, I joined other participants and film producer Natalie Difford in the question-and-answer session to see how science might be presented on the screen. At the beginning, Ann Merchant, deputy executive director of the NAS communication office, asked the audience a key question, and then she repeated the idea in an email:

“We deliberately to more women and people of color overly generous giving the audience, to ensure that we to the writer, director and producer of scientific picture is not really represent science, because it is real. We want to help turn the flip by showing the world what we want rather than what we have. ”

What a great news!

Businesses also choose dating participants. As she explained to me:


“I (literally) have a group of scientists on my desk! And an amazing database, scientists and engineers who worked with the United States national academy of sciences, engineering and medical cooperation, gives me endless choices, but I spent a lot of money in the world to watch, listen, meeting and greeting, news stories, podcasts and word of mouth is also I found a good way to people. ”

I’ve noticed how much fun people — scientists and viewers — have, in part because everything is unfolding quickly. The merchant said:

“This is a veritable hodgepodge of science – everyone fits! If the earthquake and the volcano are not your jam, just wait a minute (or seven times) and you will hear people talking about the animal’s sadness. The truth is that our audience seems to like all the talk. ”

Loverd added:

“Through the design, science and speed dating is joy for of science and engineering, in the course of about an hour, our guests from at least seven leading experts to completely different in the field of STEM at least seven interesting facts. It’s an ideal way to inspire a new project idea at night. ”

Many films, including Thor, have benefited from the scientific cooperation that exchanges promote. But does the science of speed-dating itself produce tangible results?

Loverd explains that tracking results are not always possible because networks tend to occur after and after these events, not in the plan’s attention. But he gave me a concrete example: a system engineer from NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory was consulted by a BBC TV program agent after a date event.

The businessman also tells the story of a TV show host who met an aging expert during a fast date:

“In the process of their communication, performers have a” eureka “moment, and realize the scientific facts about certain types of dementia, she can use it as a metaphor, the level of consciousness to her character and unique transition flashback sequence.”

On a personal level, I offer one or two hopes for future cooperation and hope that science will develop again in the future.

At the same time, do you have seven minutes of free time? I have a small talk about smart, animals are ready!


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