Author: David Kirby

What Entertainment Can do for Science, and Vice Versa

We are experiencing a golden age for the fusion of science and entertainment. Oscar-winning films such as Gravity and The Theory of Everything, television ratings titans like The Big Bang Theory, and high-traffic web-comics like XKCD have shown that science-based entertainment products can be both critically and financially successful. Many scientists are concerned about how this blending of science and… Read more →

The Nineteenth Century CSI Effect: Exploring the Roots of Forensic Fictions in Detective Stories

One of the more notorious recent celebrity murder trials involved actor Robert Blake, who had starred in the Our Gang/Little Rascals films as a child and who played the cockatoo-owning television detective Tony Baretta in the 1970s. In 2002 Blake was arrested on the charge of murdering his second wife Bonnie Lee Bakley. During the subsequent trial there was a… Read more →

Evangelizing the Cosmos: Science Documentaries and the Dangers of Wonder Overload

Any fan of popular science would be excused if they felt as if they were currently experiencing “wonder overload.” The concept of “wonder” has become omnipresent across the science and entertainment landscape but it has particularly found a home in contemporary science documentaries. Wonder certainly plays a central role as a framing device for the recent Cosmos re-boot presented by… Read more →