Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film

Weingart P, Muhl C, Pansegrau P (2003)
Public Understanding of Science 12(3): 279-287.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
New knowledge has met with ambivalence, as is documented in myths ever since that of Prometheus. This ambivalence is also apparent in the representations of science in literature and the popular media, most prominent among them movies. Shelley's Frankenstein has become the icon of the "mad scientist" as depicted by filmmakers ever since the 1930s. To trace such patterns of ambivalence and stereotypes of scientists and science in fiction film, 222 movies were analyzed. It is apparent that modification of, and intervention into, the human body, the violation of human nature, and threats to human health by means of science are depicted as the most alarming aspects of scientific inquiry. The threat is dramatized by being associated with the image of the scientist as pursuing the quest for new knowledge in secrecy, outside the controls of academic institutions and peers. Scientific research as perceived by fiction film is seldom a venture across the boundaries of the permissible.
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Weingart P, Muhl C, Pansegrau P. Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film. Public Understanding of Science. 2003;12(3):279-287.
Weingart, P., Muhl, C., & Pansegrau, P. (2003). Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film. Public Understanding of Science, 12(3), 279-287.
Weingart, P., Muhl, C., and Pansegrau, P. (2003). Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film. Public Understanding of Science 12, 279-287.
Weingart, P., Muhl, C., & Pansegrau, P., 2003. Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film. Public Understanding of Science, 12(3), p 279-287.
P. Weingart, C. Muhl, and P. Pansegrau, “Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film”, Public Understanding of Science, vol. 12, 2003, pp. 279-287.
Weingart, P., Muhl, C., Pansegrau, P.: Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film. Public Understanding of Science. 12, 279-287 (2003).
Weingart, Peter, Muhl, Claudia, and Pansegrau, Petra. “Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film”. Public Understanding of Science 12.3 (2003): 279-287.
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