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Thread: More science drama please.

  1. #1
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    More science drama please.

    It must be 25 years since Life Story was first shown, a brilliant dramatisation of Watsons book The Double Helix. With Jeff Goldblum as Watson it showed the efforts in the early fifties to get the structure of the DNA molecule. Not much since then though. There was a show some years ago about the first use of dna profiling in a criminal investigation. I would like to see a drama doc on the discovery of pulsars and the year afterwards. The demonstration that a star in the Crab Nebula was flashing got me away from obsessions with rockets and moon probes into general astronomy. And a speculation could be good. About how the science community reacts if an individual makes a discovery they have somehow overlooked. The discussions and actions behind the scenes. I am not sure why I would like such a drama but I am sure it wou;ld be riviting!

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    Hidden Figures

    National Geographic did a great miniseries on the life of Albert Einstein.

    The Challenger - movie about Richard Feynman's investigation of the cause of the disaster.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  3. #3
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    What did you think of The Theory of Everything a few years ago?
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteshimmon View Post
    It must be 25 years since Life Story was first shown, a brilliant dramatisation of Watsons book The Double Helix. With Jeff Goldblum as Watson it showed the efforts in the early fifties to get the structure of the DNA molecule. ...
    Are you sure you're not thinking of The Fly, in which Goldblum portrayed a scientist who embarked on DNA manipulation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    (Sorry. I'll go back to my room now.)
    You just think about what you've done.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Are you sure you're not thinking of The Fly, in which Goldblum portrayed a scientist who embarked on DNA manipulation?
    You may be mistaken, Goldblum played a scientist researching DNA manipulation and chaos theory in Jurassic Park.


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    Quote Originally Posted by peteshimmon View Post
    It must be 25 years since Life Story was first shown, a brilliant dramatisation of Watsons book The Double Helix. With Jeff Goldblum as Watson
    You're all wrong!

    This is the USA and here it is known as The Race for the Double Helix (1988). https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093815/

    Sorry.

    Incredible movie, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    You may be mistaken, Goldblum played a scientist researching DNA manipulation and chaos theory in Jurassic Park.


    (Yeah.. yeah... room...)
    Well, not exactly, he played a mathematician researching chaos theory who criticized people researching DNA manipulation.
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    "Did you hear the latest gossip?"
    "NO....."
    "Prof. Jones, the seismologist up on the third floor, is dating Barbara Talbot, the new chem E post-doc!"
    "But wasn't he dating that microbiologist... oh, what's her name?"
    "Gwen Strasburg... He still is!!!!!"
    "OH!"


    What do you mean that wasn't what you meant by "science drama"?
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by slang
    You may be mistaken, Goldblum played a scientist researching DNA manipulation and chaos theory in Jurassic Park.
    Goldblum was also into cloning in the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers......well, sorta.

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    As much flummery as you like Swift as long as the science is accurate. BTW the BBC show about Hawking was much better than the film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    "Did you hear the latest gossip?"
    "NO....."
    "Prof. Jones, the seismologist up on the third floor, is dating Barbara Talbot, the new chem E post-doc!"
    "But wasn't he dating that microbiologist... oh, what's her name?"
    "Gwen Strasburg... He still is!!!!!"
    "OH!"


    What do you mean that wasn't what you meant by "science drama"?
    Tee-hee, that’s what my first thought was, too.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    I's like to see a film about the Bogdanov affair. Although I suspect the sueballs would start flying... Some science, much drama

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    There was an interesting documentary recently about some elderley astronomers who redid a walkabout in America after 50 years. I think it was Arizona. But afterwards I had suspitions it was more a drama doc as it is easy to take the guys to various locations and film them traipsing down some places then get back in the transport back to the comfy hotel! Unworthy of me perhaps. But interesting reviews of the personal historys of the people.

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    "Star Men". As I understood it, they were following the route of a road trip they all took (with interspersed hiking) when first coming to the US at Caltech 50 years or so earlier. It was made all the more poignant to realize that Wal Sargent already knew he probably had only a short time left. More of a "road buddies reunite" production than to do with astronomy, but these four figures each had a powerful influence on astronomy in their time. (Donald Lynden-Bell, Roger Griffin, and Neville Woolf were the others).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngc3314 View Post
    ....when first coming to the US at Caltech 50 years or so earlier.....
    A couple weeks ago, during my visit to SoCal, I stayed at the Bissell House B&B. My room was right next to the Albert Einstein room, where Einstein stayed when he was at Caltech....

    As to drama, perhaps Conflict in the Cosmos, Fred Hoyle's Life in Science by Simon Mitton (2005) could be made into a movie....


    The work of Hazard and Arp slowly increased the number of strange pairings and alignments, which Hoyle felt strongly must mean that quasars are expelled from galaxies at very high velocities. But he never convinced his Cambridge colleagues or the wider astronomical community... Hoyle received the [Russell] prize and delivered the lecture in Seattle at the [American Astronomical] society's April 1972 meeting. Arp took the opportunity to read a short observational paper arguing an extreme proposition: The excess redshifts were related to the age of the objects, and the atomic constants were changing with time!... [Hoyle] concluded, "This concept appears necessary if we are to understand the result reported by Arp... Martin Schwarzchild scolded the pair of them: "You are both crazy!"
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Sargent made that great joke from the walkway on the 200 inch dome to some tourists who wanted to know how he got up there. By working b______y hard! He looks much younger in my copy of Calders Violent Universe (1969). Thats almost 50 years in a nice job! BTW I am sure in that group photo from 50 years ago I saw Fred Hoyle with them.

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    Difficult to find more engrossing science drama than "Longitude"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Difficult to find more engrossing science drama than "Longitude"
    I disagree. That's no more than historical fiction "inspired by real events" (but completely distorting the truth), with added character assassination. In my view a deeply unpleasant work, as was the book on which it was based.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-Oct-07 at 03:53 PM.
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    I must admit I forgot about Longitude. I first visited Greenwich in 1969 and came away with a booklet telling the story of the renovation of the Harrison clocks. A great story I concluded. Thirty years later one Dava Sobell found the story and cleaned up writing it up. Not sure why Grant is upset, much of the story is a matter of record!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteshimmon View Post
    Not sure why Grant is upset, much of the story is a matter of record!
    Actually, most of the real story is omitted from Sobel's book. She misses out all the bits that don't fit with her "working class hero" versus "privileged establishment elite" myth-making, misrepresents the nature of the longitude problem, misrepresents Maskelyne's motives, and completely misrepresents the nature of the Longitude prize. Davida Charney's article (200KB pdf) covers most (but not all) of the problems with Sobel's work.
    If you want a balanced view of Maskelyne (rather than Sobel's character assassination), take a look at Rebekah Higgitt's Maskelyne: Astronomer Royal. He was a good and careful scientist, keen to give credit and financial reward where it was due. He and the Board of Longitude were extremely generous with Harrison - if you add it up, Harrison's total income from the Board while working on his clocks put him in the top few percent of earners in England at that time. They paid him at that rate for 24 years - hardly the act of a group intent on suppressing his work. The final settlement he was offered (on top of his regular allowances), in exchange for his existing clocks, his plans, and an agreement to produce two more clocks, was the equivalent of one million pounds of public money, in today's terms. Yet Sobel chooses to portray him as some sort of victim!
    What Harrison (and Sobel) never seems to have understood, but Maskelyne and Newton knew very well, is that a couple of intricate clocks, produced over decades of labour, could never meet the terms of the Longitude Prize, which required a general solution. And that chronometers and lunar distances were never in competition - they were complementary techniques, each addressing part of the problem. And Maskelyne did all his work on lunar tables simply because he thought it was his job - he didn't apply for a penny of the prize money. Sobel's version of events is entirely misleading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Actually, most of the real story is omitted from Sobel's book. She misses out all the bits that don't fit with her "working class hero" versus "privileged establishment elite" myth-making. Sobel's version of events is entirely misleading.
    Grant Hutchison
    She and Donna Riley (who goes on and on about how "rigor" is "Toxic Maskelyne-ity")

    I had to....
    Last edited by publiusr; 2018-Oct-15 at 10:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    It all has to do with the revolt against "Toxic Maskelyne-ity"
    Hehe, that was a good one, Pub.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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