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Cool Geeks, Dangerous Nerds, Entrepreneurial Scientists and Idealistic Physicians? Exploring Science and Medicine in Popular Culture

  • Joachim AllgaierEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The public image of scientists, researchers and physicians and their work is not only influenced by what people learn in school or hear in the news. How medicine, science and research are represented in popular and entertainment culture also has an influence on how many people perceive them and what they think about it. In this chapter we will explore various interactions between science, medicine and popular and entertainment culture. For instance, physicians and scientists are also citizens that consume products of popular and entertainment culture. Fictional depictions of science and medicine can sometimes inspire people working in these fields and give them bright ideas. However, representations of science, research and medicine in popular culture can also be heavily biased and wrong. Fictional representations of scientists, researchers, physicians and psychiatrists are also important for the public perception of these fields and keep changing over time. We will explore how the public legitimacy of science and medicine is also connected to depictions of scientists and physicians in entertainment culture. Various scientific institutions have created programmes that ensure that the representations of science and physicians are positive and that the storylines in entertainment programmes are scientifically accurate. Another important aspect in the various relationships between science, medicine and popular culture is the recruitment of young people for biomedical and scientific careers. Here it does help if scientifically literate and tech-savvy people in the entertainment culture of today can be depicted as being “cool”, quite in contrast to depictions of former decades.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science, Technology and Society StudiesAlpen-Adria-UniversityKlagenfurtAustria

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