Getting Science into the Movies


There’s a new science literacy program shaping up between the National Science Foundation and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to bring science and engineering concepts to the public.

The program, called the Creative Science Studio, due to lauch this autumn, will be make use of SCA’s professional soundstages, animation facilities, post-production suites, mixing theaters, screening rooms, and all-digital classrooms to more accurately portray the way science works and what science knows.

The basic idea is to exchange tools:

  • To give faculty and students the science and engineering tools (instruments and data visualization methods) to enhance the way science is depicted in the movie industry (and the likes)
  • To give science researchers the creative tools to educate audiences

In the process, the next generation of entertainment producers will be exposed to science themes, be more comfortable with them, and more likely to accurately portray them to audiences of the future. SCA Dean Elizabeth M. Daley tells USC:

“This alliance is a vital and essential one. I’m excited for a symbiosis between these two institutions, which will play a major role in the ongoing evolution of scientific communication for both researchers and storytellers.”

The Creative Science Studio’s projects will include videos, interactive games, animations, and examples of information visualization, with a larger research project designed to interrogate “information” itself. SCA’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy produced a five- minute video describing the Studio:

 

Creative Science Studio, AAAS Presentation Video from IML @ USC on Vimeo.

 

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