Why is it so important to get the science correct in TV and film? Ask that question to organic chemist Donna Nelson, particle physicist David Saltzberg, and physician David Foster and you'll get valuable insight into why they serve as science advisers to some of the hottest science/medical TV shows on the air today.
Meet these science celebrities and hear their viewpoints as they participate in the "Getting the Science Right in Hollywood" discussion panel scheduled for the USA Science & Engineering Festival's finale Expo in 2014.
Donna Nelson, professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, serves as science advisor to AMC's popular show, "Breaking Bad". She was selected for the program after reading an article in Chemical and Engineering News about how the show's producer was seeking ongoing chemistry advice involving the program's main character, Walt (an organic chemistry high school teacher). Says Nancy: "I thought, 'I can do this!' Chemists and other scientists are always complaining about poor, inaccurate science that appears in movies and television shows. This is an opportunity to do something about it."
David Foster, a Harvard-trained physician, is medical consultant and writer for the Fox hit series "House, MD". It is a key part of his job to come up with the actual mysterious illnesses and medical conditions portrayed on the show, while also keeping 'House' realistic and medically/scientifically accurate.
David Saltzberg, a world-renowned particle physicists at the University of California, Los Angeles, serves as science consultant for CBS TV's "The Big Bang Theory", which boasts 12 million viewers each week. David is known for his attention to getting the science right without detracting from the mood and direction of the sitcom. In enhancing the show's script, he says: "I often choose something new, so people can learn about recent science discoveries." For example, he adds, "I've put in references to the CERN super-collider and to recent discoveries relating to dark matter."
Stay tuned for more details on this discussion panel, and other exciting events planned for the Expo!