Going Broad with Terminator Salvation: Can McG Teach Us Something about Artificial Intelligence or Cyborgs?
So I scanned the reviews for director McG's Terminator Salvation at the Washington Post, New York Times, and New York Magazine, and it turns out not unexpectedly that in the words of my hometown Buffalo News' critic Jeff Simon that the film "is a remarkable looking piece of work. And you'll find gobs and gobs of action in it at least half of the time. Bullets fly, so do people. Things blow up and, yes the people do, too."
But reading the reviews left me thinking: There's so much visual, so much wider audience engagement with a film like Terminator Salvation, that the underlying themes of artificial intelligence and cyborgs stand as a terrific hook to reach wider audiences on the science and ethics related to these topics.
Commissioning "science of _____" film reviews might be one way to accomplish this. The linked mainstream reviews above touch on these dimensions of the film, in fact they invite reader curiosity, but they understandably don't provide much popular science context.
So here's an idea I am throwing out there for the amazing new Science & Entertainment Exchange initiative launched by the National Academies:
With major films that include themes of science and technology, why not produce online and even syndicate, 1,000-2,000 word accessible and interesting "science reviews" of the film. In these reviews, there would be some countering or debunking (but not too much) of possible errors in the science, but far more importantly, the review would be a platform and launching pad for sparking interest among readers in the featured scientific field.
Consider the movie reviews a trusted "science information valet," providing context but then hyperlinking to a wealth of other multi-media and science content rich information available online.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.
- The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
- It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
- Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
- Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
- Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
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