The Moon en Plein Aire

One of the key conclusions in my book is that scientist/filmmaker collaborations work best when the scientists and entertainment professionals clearly respect each other’s expertise. This means that the scientists, in particular, need to keep in mind that they know very little about making movies. This same advice applies to scientifically literate audiences. We need to remember that just as scientists are scientific experts, filmmakers are entertainment experts who make decisions about science based on their specialist knowledge of the way film operates and what makes a film enjoyable.

Biodiversity and Hollywood: A Fashionable Intersection

What would your favorite science-fiction movie be without the costumes? Most likely it would not be your favorite movie.

Fashion and costume choices set the stage for some of cinema’s most memorable moments. But what are movie sets made out of? Where was the cotton used to make the leading lady’s pants harvested? These questions can be explained by delving into the science of biodiversity.

Chase Mendenhall is a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Stanford University. He explores the trade-offs between the conservation of biodiversity and farming by closely monitoring bird and bat populations that inhabit farmland in Costa Rica.

He is also one of two speakers who will be attending the Science Café at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at the Koshland Science Museum in Washington, DC.