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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

Phil Plait

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To Mars and Beyond

'Twas the evening of Mars, with experts discussing space exploratory clout, as Hollywood and science met, at the SoHo House.

The Science & Entertainment Exchange met at the beautiful SoHo House in West Hollywood, for an affable evening of science and conversation.

Acclaimed scientists and Hollywood’s elite attended the event held above the twinkling City of Stars. Yet, as the night drew on another luminous region was explored - Space.

A visit to Mars may no longer be science-fiction. According to Phil Plait, author and astronomer, as well as Jennifer Trosper, JPL’s Mars Mission Manager, the journey to our neighboring planet is more like science-reality

Recap: The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder

Phil Plait was the moderator (not shown), and from left to right are Jane Espenson, Kevin Grazier, Ashley Miller, Jaime Paglia, Jon Spaihts, and Zack Stentz.

Oh, Comic Con.

The San Diego Comic Con is the largest pop–culture (scif, fantasy, and so on) convention in America, and one of the largest in the world; over 130,000 people attend. It’s actually a madhouse, with a packed exhibit hall and hundreds of amazing panels and talks.

Robots! Aliens! Time travel! Superheroes! SCIENCE!

At the 2012 San Diego Comic Con we’re putting the Sci in SciFi with the return of the popular panel:

The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder

Packed with the names behind some of the biggest science fiction hits in Hollywood and TV, the panel will explore the science behind movies and series including Thor, Eureka, Prometheus, and SyFy’s upcoming blockbuster series Defiance. Keeping the science straight in an ongoing series can be a nightmare for writers, so we’ve tapped some of the best to talk about how it’s done, and how to remain faithful to both reality and story mythology. We’ll be talking prequels, sequels, and creating good stories with good science from the ground up.

How I Stopped Worrying (about science accuracy) And Learned to Love The Story

When I was a kid – and who am I kidding; when I was an adult too – I made fun of the science in movies. “That’s so fakey!” I would cry out loud when a spaceship roared past, or a slimy alien stalked our heroes.

Eventually, my verbal exclamations evolved into written ones. Not long after creating my first website (back in the Dark Internet Ages of 1997) I decided it would be fun to critique the science of movies, and I dove in with both glee and fervor. No movie was safe, from Armageddon to Austin Powers.

I was right; it was fun. It was surprisingly easy to deconstruct Hollywood accuracy, or lack thereof. Any mistake was fair game; a flubbed line with bad math was just as likely for me to mock as a plot device upon which the entire movie rested. Blowing up a giant asteroid? Pshaw. Saying “million” instead of “billion”? Please. Shadows moving the wrong way at sunset? Let me sharpen my poison keyboard.

Event Recap: A Night of Total Destruction

Bringing about the apocalypse is easier than you think.

On April 4, The Exchange hosted A Night of Total Destruction at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. The event brought together four leading experts and a packed audience of filmmakers to discuss a variety of exciting (but very real) ways to trigger the end of our civilization. Of course, for filmmaking purposes only.

Jon Spaihts (writer of The Darkest Hour and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus) led an evening of lively, entertaining, yet thoroughly unnerving, discussions on topics ranging from neuro-weapons that can influence the human brain to the imminent danger we face with natural disasters.

The Double-Edged Sword

The Science & Entertainment Exchange co-hosted a panel discussion over the weekend in conjunction with Discover Magazine at San Diego Comic-Con. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait served as moderator for the event, which featured Jaime Paglia (Eureka showrunner), Kevin Grazier (JPL and technical consultant for Eureka and Battlestar Galactica) Rob Chiappetta and Glen Whitma (Fringe staff writers), Ricardo Gil da Costa (The Salk Institute and a consultant on Fringe), and Jane Espenson (Caprica showrunner).