This research theme investigates the intersections between fiction, science and the public, where 'fiction' includes fictional stories told through film, television, radio, theatre, novels, short stories, comics and computer games.
Since the time that Mary Shelley first published the story of the monster that plagued her dreams, many creatives have imagined worlds of scientific advancements.
From tremendous wars across galaxies to robots with feelings, the representation of science in fiction has the power to inspire or caution against the developments and technologies in the modern (and future) world.
Our research investigates:
- How does fiction influence public attitudes to scientists or science-related controversies?
- How do people respond to the science they encounter in fiction?
- How can fiction be used in the classroom to teach science?
- How are the social, political, cultural or economic aspects of science represented through
- How can narrative structures increase a message’s persuasiveness or interest to particular
- How can we best read fiction as a public response to science or technology?
Relevant CPAS courses are:
Students also undertake research in this theme for undergraduate coursework, postgraduate coursework and higher degrees by research.
Contact theme convenor Dr Lindy Orthia for more information or click on the tabs below to find relevant people, projects, news and events.
Image by Erik Berndt.
Peer-reviewed publications only
See individual theme members' pages for non-peer-reviewed publications associated with this theme
Orthia L.A. & Morgain R. (2016) The gendered culture of scientific competence: A study of scientist characters in Doctor Who 1963-2013. Sex Roles, 75(3), 79-94. doi: 10.1007/s11199-016-0597-y.
Li R. & Orthia L.A. (2016) Communicating the nature of science through The Big Bang Theory: Evidence from a focus group study. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 6(2): 115-136. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2015.1020906.
Donkers M. & Orthia L.A. (2016) Popular theatre for science engagement: Audience engagement with human cloning following a production of Caryl Churchill’s A Number. International Journal of Science Education Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 6(1), 23-45. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2014.947349.
Li R. & Orthia L.A. (2013) Are people inspired by The Big Bang Theory to find out more about science? Results from focus group-based audience research. Proceedings of 4th Annual Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ) Conference, Brisbane, June 24-26, 2013, pp. 248-257.
Orthia L.A. (2013) Savages, science, stagism and the naturalized ascendancy of the Not-We in Doctor Who. In L. Orthia (ed.) Doctor Who and Race. Bristol: Intellect Books, pp. 269-287.
Orthia L.A. (2012) Science Fiction. In R. Gunstone (ed.) Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer, online. Print version forthcoming 2014.
Orthia L.A., Dobos A.R., Guy T., Kan S.Z., Keys S.E., Nekvapil S. & Ngu D.H.Y. (2012) How do people think about the science they encounter in fiction? Science students investigate using The Simpsons. International Journal of Science Education Part B 2: 149-174.
Orthia L.A. (2011) “Paradise is a little too green for me”: Discourses of environmental disaster in Doctor Who 1963-2010. Colloquy 21: online.
Orthia L.A. (2011) Antirationalist critique or fifth column of scientism? Challenges from Doctor Who to the mad scientist trope. Public Understanding of Science 20: 525-542.