February 29, 2020

"Physics World" addresses getting the science right in films

Physicist and science-in-film columnist Sidney Perkowitz celebrates indie filmmakers who refuse to sacrifice the science to the story.

In the February 2020 issue of Physics World, the science-news magazine produced the UK-/Ireland-based Institute of Physics, scientist and science writer Sidney Perkowitz tackled a topic that parallels the Science on Screen mission: the value of depicting science accurately in film.

In his article, titled "Getting the film physics right," Perkowitz highlights seven films that either shine new light on fundamental physics concepts or address the struggles and triumphs of academic scientists.

Such films, he argues, have special value for scientists accustomed to flinching their way through the scientific shortcuts taken by many Hollywood films. When watching a film where the physics hold up, he writes, "you just might learn something new about your science and yourself."

Many of the films Perkowitz mentions are featured on the website Labocine, a digital platform launched in 2016 by the nonprofit Imagine Science Films that is home to more than 2,000 science films. He also shouts out the work that Science on Screen sponsor the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has done to "showcase stories about science and scientists"--and the science-celebrating films available on the Sloan Science & Film website, maintained by Science on Screen grantee the Museum of the Moving Image.

Visit Sloan Science & Film and Labocine to explore the work of science-positive filmmakers and read Perkowitz's original article below!

Read the article on Physics World's Art and Science blog.