How can I get involved?
If you’d like to become one of our consultants, please contact us.
How do I volunteer to become a consultant? What happens when I’m contacted for a consult?
The first step is to contact us. From there, we’ll learn more about your background and area(s) of expertise, as well as your preferences for travel, time commitment, and method of contact. When we receive a query that fits your background, we will contact you to find out about your interest and availability for the project. If everything matches, we’ll put the entertainment person in touch with you. After the consult, we follow up with each party to ensure everything went well.
What exactly would I be expected to do?
It depends on the nature of the project and what is needed. It could be answering quick questions by phone for a TV writer on deadline, participating in a brainstorming session for a film in the early stages of development, or even working with set designers to create realistic settings. Our science consultants have also reviewed scripts and assisted writers in choosing the most plausible scenario out of several plot ideas.
We might also invite you to participate in events that we sponsor, such as lectures, symposia, small salon sessions, and panel discussions.
What sort of time commitment do you expect from the experts who provide consultations?
Each consult is different - some require a quick phone call or an email or two. When we contact you regarding a consult, we’ll let you know how much time we expect this might take. Some consults provide opportunities to travel to participate in a think tank or on-site meeting, but most are done via email, phone, or Skype.
Will I get paid for my time?
Our science experts are volunteers, which means there is no monetary compensation offered by The Science & Entertainment Exchange. However, if you are required to travel for a consult or an event, your expenses will, of course, be covered.
Occasionally, volunteer consulting will lead to a paid consulting opportunity. In these cases, please note that The Science & Entertainment Exchange cannot negotiate fees on your behalf.
Why should I become a science consultant for The Science & Entertainment Exchange?
For the pure joy of science outreach! You will have the satisfaction of having done something worthwhile to advance public understanding of science. We assume that if you are volunteering for The Science & Entertainment Exchange, you already have an interest in science outreach and communication and a desire to help further the goal of improving the portrayal of science and scientists in the entertainment industry. And who knows? An initial volunteer consult might lead to a paid consulting job or a potentially useful contact within the entertainment industry.
Will I be credited on the film, TV show, or video game?
Probably not. Film/TV and video game credits are valuable currency in the entertainment industry and they distribute that currency sparingly.
Do I need to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?
A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) may be required for certain projects. The Science & Entertainment Exchange has a standard NDA form for prospective entertainment industry clients that we can amend as necessary in conjunction with the studio’s legal department.
However, The Science & Entertainment Exchange does not function as anyone’s legal counsel and therefore makes no recommendations, leaving this decision to sign the NDA up to the individual signatories. If you have questions, we will do our best to answer them, but we recommend that you discuss this with your own private counsel if you are the least bit uncomfortable.
Will the director or studio guarantee that they’ll take my advice?
No. Our entertainment industry clients are free to use your input however they see fit for their narrative purposes. The Science & Entertainment Exchange’s role - and the role of its volunteer consultants - is to provide technical expertise, not to dictate how that information is used. That is why using The Science & Entertainment Exchange does not automatically translate into a “seal of approval” from the National Academy of Sciences on a given project’s scientific content. We certainly hope your advice is taken, but sometimes the story or production needs of TV and film conflict with strict scientific accuracy.
You can have the biggest impact by tailoring your input specifically to the plot points and storylines in development that are discussed in your consult. This makes it far more likely that your advice will be implemented - at least partially.
What if I hate what they’ve done with the TV show? Can I be sure my name won’t be used in connection with the project?
Chances are your name will not be associated with the final product unless you specifically choose to make your involvement public. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you are free to request that your name not be used in association with that project.