Author Lauren James takes a look at the good – and not-so-good – Stem role models in movies and TV.
As a science student, it’s always been difficult to find fictional scientists who feel real. Most of the time, the scientists I see in films are wildly absurd – geniuses in not just their field but in everything, who know how to hack any server, recreate any molecule, identify any liquid, and calculate the angle of impact of any bomb.
If people grow up only ever seeing scientists as being impossibly, unbelievably clever, then they are going to be discouraged from ever studying science themselves. This is especially true for women: who wants to become a scientist when your on-screen counterparts are constantly harassed, seen as bossy or lacking social skills, and are either comically unattractive or so sexy that it makes it unsafe to be in a laboratory environment?