As promised, the Screen Junkies episode we made is out. It is about The Martian! JPL’s Christina Heinlein (a planetary science expert) also took part, and I hope you find it interesting and thought-provoking. Maybe even funny too! As usual, there’s a lot that was said that was inevitably left on the (virtual) cutting-room floor, but a lot of good stuff made the cut. All in all, I’d say that this film (which I enjoyed a lot!) had a refreshing take on science and engineering for a big studio film, on several scores. (Remaining sentences are spoiler-free.) First, rather than hiding the slow machinations involved in problem-solving, it has a lot of it up front! It’s an actual celebration of problem-solving, part of the heart and soul of science and engineering. Second, rather than have the standard nerd stereotype of the scientist that you see so very often, they went in a refreshingly different direction… You see a variety of people who happen to be scientists, so yes there’s the extreme nerd/socially-awkward-genius cliche for one character (actually amusingly played), but that’s ok since it is balanced out by several other character-types, just as good at doing their science, which is much closer to the way a room full of scientists actually is.
Anyway, we talk about a lot more than that in the episode, including a few details about things I thought were off, and things that were spot on…. But remember… see the movie first if you don’t want SPOILERS! (I might add some extra comments after the link below later on if I get time. They will have spoilers too.) Embed below: