Science in the Media


There is nothing like reading a good book or watching a great movie for a little escapism and entertainment.
With all of the television channels available and easy access to the internet, you can watch just about anything
you want at any time. Earlier in the course you discussed the science involved with technology, but in this
Assignment, you will turn the tables and delve into how the media portrays science.
How does a pop culture portrayal of science and scientists impact the average person’s view of what science is
and how research is conducted? Can what is presented by the media affect how the general public views a
particular research field? What might the long-term impacts of such a depiction be?
When you hear the word “scientist” what do you envision?
Discuss at least three characteristics of your vision of a scientist.
Which famous people or characters from the media come into your mind?
What characteristics do they have in common?
Has your image of what a scientist does and how they look changed over time? If so, how has this changed
and what influenced you? If your vision of a scientist has not changed, why do you think that is the case?
Are fictional scientists usually portrayed as heroes, villains, or a combination of the two? Provide at least two
detailed examples from fictional media to support your position.
How is science portrayed in fictional media (i.e., television shows, movies, music, books, etc.)? Is it seen as a
positive, negative, or neutral force in the world? Give specific examples from fictional media supporting your
Do you think the portrayal of scientists in the various forms of media influences how society views people in
this profession? Why, or why not? Discuss and include references to support your position.
Can the portrayal of science in media influence how certain research and technology is viewed and accepted
by the general public (e.g., cloning)?
You are expected to use outside resources for this essay. The PG Library has created a library resource with
references for you to use to start this assignment. You are also welcome to utilize the textbook and other
credible sources that you find. For help with the writing process, read this resource from the Writing Center on
how to write a reflective essay.

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