Of Prometeus, science and women

I have not seen the movie Prometheus, nor do I intend to, but I am grateful to Ridley Scott for creating it, as some of the critiques that it has spawned are very entertaining to read. What is clear is that plot consistency and logic were not deemed important to tell this story with mythological aspirations. In the end this looks like yet another old guy trying to reframe the nice artwork he did in his youth, trying to make a good story in some larger thing, and mostly managing to make a fool of himself.

What struck me with all the critical reviews is how absurd the behaviour of the “scientists” in the movie is. It seems that for hollywood, scientists are not really people, but more plot-devices, a bit like terrorists, I suppose. This is annoying me on a personal level, as I have a scientific background, but in my opinion this is also hurting society, as such stereotypes are not helping attract people into the field

The scientific world is lacking people, in particular women. There are many reasons for this, but having negative stereotypes certainly does not help. Recently the EU tried to address the problem: fixing the underlying problem is way to complicated and probably fraught with political dangers, so they created a movie called “Science: It’s a Girl Thing !”. Maybe they should have written a song, with the movie they basically shot themselves in the foot: it is both sexist and silly, and will certainly not have the expected effect.

Instead of having the EU try to write propaganda films, which they suck at, they should do like the US army: sponsorise movies that go in the direction they would like. The US army gracefully lends its toys to movie makers whose stories align its the propaganda goals. Instead of trying to do painfully pink ads, they should just sponsor movies where the scientists are not complete idiots. But clearly this would be science-fiction.

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