On June July 20th, 1969, more than five hundred million people witnessed a monumental scientific achievement in the most viewed television event of its day. With the fortieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s first steps on the moon coming up this month, we’re reminded of science’s ability to inspire us as well as human innovation and creativity’s capacity to advance our kind.
Since the invention of language, people have romanticized and marveled at the soft glowing orb that passes us by nightly. Whether it was worshipping it as a God or promising it to a loved one, the moon has always fascinated humanity - Hollywood is no different.
Well Jerry, you’ve done it again. And not just in bringing to light Jessica Alba’s groundbreaking work, most of which was conducted in between takes on Fantastic Four 2: the search for a spin-off. No, what you have proposed is much bigger than Miss Alba’s theories into time and space. Using the fool-proof Hollywood studio method of nurturing creativity and ingenuity and applying it to the science community? Brilliant! I was such a fan of this idea that after reading your blog I quickly jumped in my car, made sure my precious dogs were strapped in, remembered I had forgotten my BlackBerry, hurried to my office only stopping off at the gym, the coffee shop on Montana Avenue, a few boutiques, a breakfast meeting at Urth Café, back to the gym to see if my BlackBerry was there (it wasn’t), then to my office. There was no time to spare; I was inspired and my work was about to begin. As soon as I could find my blackberry that is!
When we tell you that there are teaching moments in every film that could get a conversation started about science, we really do mean every film.We can prove it too. We’re not afraid to put our money where our mouth is: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.Here’s a film about magic that takes place in a fantastical land where anything seems possible and Muggle science feels misguided and trivial… or so you thought.
With Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs hitting theaters this weekend, we have a good example of a film that may play fast and loose with reality, but nonetheless serves to inspire kids to think about science.
There is a scene that takes place at a math tournament in the 2004 film Mean Girls wherein each team must pick the weakest member from the other team to compete in a tie-breaking “sudden death” round. The boys on one team don’t even need to mull it over: they automatically pick the token female on the opposing team – because everyone knows girls aren’t as good as boys at math. Right?