Thursday, January 23, 2014

When scientists go to the movies, they need their space

Keir Dullea played astronaut David Bowman in "2001: A Space Odyssey."

“We can’t count on science fiction to always get the science right,” Emory physicist Sidney Perkowitz told Popular Mechanics. “But we can count on it to generate excitement and interest in viewers.” 

Ocasionally, however, Hollywood does get it right. Popular Mechanics polled dozens of scientists and engineers on their favorite sci-fi movies, based on both scientific plausibility and cinematic merit.

Their top pick: “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the 1968 film of space exploration by director Stanley Kubrick. Even seasoned astronauts gave Kubrick the thumbs up for his depictions of space flight.

Click here to read the other 10 top sci-fi movies named by the scientists and engineers.

The magazine also polled the scientists about the worst sci-fi movies. Among the top five is 2003’s “The Core” which, Perkowitz says, “gets more science wrong than almost any other film I know.”

Fantastic light: From science-fiction to fact

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