sitemap | help
Click here to access to our stories featuring images from our collections and related materials ranging from Unusual takes, voices to biographies and more. Click here to find a feature debate and other debates related to some of our subjects and topics found with the READ section, please note, you need to be a registered user to participate in debates Click here to browse or search for images and related materials.  Alternatively use the advanced search for more detailed queries. Click here to create your own web galleries using our image collections or to personalise your experience within Ingenious.  Please note that you need to be a registered user to work with the CREATE tools.  Go to the 'Register' link to utilise Ingenious Create Tools Menu Log in Menu Search
Spacer image
Spacer image
save to my links [ + ]Read
Topic: Science on screen
Science on screen
Scientists, at least according to the movies, are usually mad, bad and dangerous to know. Less often, they are portrayed as altruistic, self-sacrificing, heroic obsessives. The way that scientists are portrayed on screen reveals much about contemporary anxieties felt by society about science. Scientists may well have cause for complaint about how they have been represented on film. However, they are not alone. The use of stereotypes as a form of creative shorthand is often central to the construction of narrative and character, be it scientists, artists, composers or gun-slingers (to name but a few). Moreover, can the blame be laid entirely at the doors of the film-makers? Indeed, Dr Frankenstein, the most famous ‘mad’ scientist stereotype, is the creation of a nineteenth-century novelist. There can be no doubt, however, that the most powerful and enduring representations of Frankenstein and the creature he creates are drawn not from the pages of books but from the screen. This topic looks at the changing ways that scientists have been represented on screen and how this reflects society’s perception of contemporary science.
Spacer image
Spacer image

Topic section: The science of screams
Spacer image
Typically the scientist on screen has been an outsider, often an outcast. Whether played by Peter Sellers as Dr Strangelove or by Bela Lugosi, the role has often explored the line between genius and madness. Both share an affinity with obsession.  > more

Topic Section: The cinema of paranoia
Spacer image
From the post-war era to the present, science fiction films have reflected the concerns of their age. Films of the early 1950s, featuring aliens and mutants, expressed the paranoia of the time and the Cold War.  > more

Topic section: Frankenstein’s scream factory
Spacer image
The question of whether the scientist plays God has been a major theme for movies. The punishment for such arrogance has been portrayed as tragedy. The story of Frankenstein’s monster is replayed in Jurassic Park.  > more
Click here to print this page in a printer friendly format  > Printer friendly version > Back to top
© NMSI. All rights reserved. | terms of use | sitemap | contact us | accessibility | privacy | who we are
Spacer image
Spacer image
Read More
Please click here to explore this topic further and to access our our stories featuring images from our collections and related materials ranging from Unusual takes, voices to biographies and more.
If your browser is not javascript enabled then click here to Read More. To learn how to javascript enable your browser click here.
  right arrow Voices - of people involved
  right arrow Unusual Takes - the unexpected angle

See caption
Click here to see images related to this section
Related to: