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Science on television and in film - Essay Example

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Science on television and in film

Mass media, especially television, printed media and the Internet benefits from the misunderstanding, superstitions and fears of general public who live in the world that is completely dependent on science and on scientific achievements.
Television, as the most influential and powerful part of mass media, uses initial desire of a person to get information about surrounding world. As Carl Sagan , the famous astronomer and advocate of popular science, once mentioned: "children are natural-born scientists, inherently curious about the world around them and the way things work". It is the way we often encountered science in the classroom that seemed to turn many people off to science, he contended. (Sharon Dunwoody, Sharon M. Friedman, Carol L. Rogers, 180)
Media started to involve general public in its nets long ago. In 1686, in a French speaking Entretiens sur la pluralit des mondes, there were recognized the need to satisfy both 'la gens du monde' and 'les savants'. Only in the next fifty years, this specification of public tended to develop more and more into two different orders of discourse: one for the scientists, the other one for the educated public. By the end of the following century, this second language had already focused on specific and paradigmatic audiences: women (as 'symbols of ignorance, goodwill, curiosity') for instance, through periodicals like The Ladies' Diary and books like Il Newtonianesimo per le dame by Francesco Algarotti (1752) or L'Astronomie des dames by Joseph Jrome Lefranois de Lalande (1785) (A. R. Hall, 339). It is only since the second half of the nineteenth century, however that one can really talk of 'large scale' communication of science explicitly addressed by its authors not just to specific audiences but also to the general public ('grand public').
Nowadays there are a lot of television programs and channels in that or this way linked with science. National Geographic, Nova, Discovery and TV communication tools are good examples. The another example are the Jacques Cousteau's discoveries, they were devoted exactly to the problem of doing science, and the programs were done in an interesting manner, attracting spectators. The usual composition of a Jacques Cousteau's program was: identification of problem, a hypothesis for the problem solution, and then action, live solution of the problem. There are also other programs, broadcast on educational channels, their distinguishing feature is that they represent science fairly, but at the same time they have very limited audience comparing to above-mentioned channels and programs.
There are some peculiarities of science on TV; they are mentioned in the book of Jane Gregory and Steve Miler. The argument of the authors is that television moving away from traditional scientific exposition and using popular culture one. All scientific stories on television have heroes and sometimes villains, plots, denouements, beginnings, middles, and ends, these all means that scientific stories transforms to dramatic. Jane Gregory and Steve Miler turn to media studies of professor Roger Silverstone, who determines a tension between the storytelling aspect of television science and the need for a realistic representation of the scientific processes at work. Jane Gregory and Steve Miler descried a typical TV scientific program like one that start with a problem, set out mimetically in terms of "what were, and what killed, the dinosaurs" and ...Show more

Summary

Nowadays the influence of mass media science, particularly television, becomes extremely huge, though very often media science proclaims ideas that are very far from "traditional" science. Notwithstanding, media science appears to be the only widespread source for advancing of the knowledge around the world…
Author : remingtonondric
Science on television and in film essay example
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