Science Versus Entertainment

Interesting conversation on Slashdot about Hollywood Math and Science Consulting, which helps screenwriters portray math and science accurately in their scripts. The company's first client was the TV show Numb3rs, about a mathematician who solves crimes via pattern-recognition techniques. It's a fascinating idea, and I love the eccentric professor played by Dragonslayer's Peter MacNicol. Unfortunately, he's a secondary character and can't carry the show on his own.

Slashdot's comment-ranking filter allows you to screen out idiots and read only responses that are authoritative, clever, imaginative or funny. So what were the highlights of this conversation on math and science in Hollywood? To summarize:

1. The laws of science are always secondary to the laws of entertainment.

2. Any show that realistically portrayed science and math would be pretty dull.

3. Therefore, no matter what the topic - forensics, technology, you name it - experts will always be horrified by the way it's treated in Hollywood.

My favorite comment:

"[I read] a Garfield I saw where he ate an entire cake! No cat could eat that much! He'd get sick! Oh, I wish they'd hire some consultants for that horrible Jim Davis."