Hollywood chooses to portray experts in particular – sometimes peculiar – ways. Those choices have profound impacts on how audiences think about subjects as diverse as dinosaurs, robots, and climate catastrophes. But do those portrayals also change the way we think about the experts themselves and the process of expertise? Does Hollywood play some kind of under-the-table role in teaching us which experts to trust? That’s the theme for today’s podcast.
Today, we listen in on a conversation between three experts here in STS who study science policy making as a process. They talk about a couple of films in which experts play starring roles. To get things going, they concentrate on two films: “Films like Don’t Look Up,” the star-studded 2021 Netflix film directed by Adam McKay. And, “2012,” the 2009 Sony Pictures apocalypse film directed by Roland Emmerich.
In some ways, these films are very different. But in key ways, they’re remarkably similar.
The conversation you’ll hear was organised and led by Haes Seung Chung, one of the students in this year’s STSNewsRoom. She keeps things moving, and she keeps our panellists on their toes. In fact, she’s ready to go. So, I’m just hand the microphone over to her, and I’ll see you on the other side.
Interviewer and researcher
- Haes Seung Chung, STS 2023 student in our integrated BSc programme
- Professor Jack Stilgoe, UCL Professor of Science and Technology Policy
- Dr Saheli Datta Burton, UCL Lecturer (Teaching) in Science Policy (Responsible Research and Innovation)
- Dr Stephen Hughes, UCL Lecturer in Science, Technology and Society
- Professor Joe Cain, UCL Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology
Intro and Exit music
- “Rollin At 5,” by Kevin MacLeod
Music within the episode
- Endless Dessert- Steven Beddall: Endless Desert by Steven Bedlam | Artlist.io
WeAreSTS is a production of the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London (UCL). To find out more, or to leave feedback about the show: