the result of that film,” Loverd said. “It’s not just about the science in the movie, it’s about the characters and how they become aspirational figures for people.” The Science & Entertainment Exchange is also working with filmmakers to make sure that science is used accurately in their productions. “We have a team of scientists who are available to filmmakers who are looking for help in making sure that their science is accurate and that it can be portrayed in a way that is both scientifically accurate and entertaining,” Loverd explained. “The Core” is a movie that could have benefited from such resources. With its scientific inaccuracies, it is little wonder that the film failed to make a splash at the box office. But it can still be remembered as an important reminder of how important it is to use accurate science in popular entertainment — and how much the Science & Entertainment Exchange can help in that regard.
From its explosive opening scenes to its over-the-top finale, “The Core” had all the makings of a classic science fiction blockbuster. But what it lacked in scientific accuracy, it made up for in inspiring the creation of the Science & Entertainment Exchange – a platform that promotes the use of better science in movies, television and other media.
When “The Core” first hit theaters in 2003, it was met with a wave of criticism from scientists. The movie presented viewers with a seemingly simple premise – the Earth’s core has stopped rotating and a team of “terranauts” must journey to the center of the Earth with nuclear weapons to explode the core into rotating again – but the science behind it was far from accurate.
Take, for example, the scene where hundreds of people suddenly drop dead due to their pacemakers stopping working. This wouldn’t happen in real life, as pacemakers are electronic devices that wouldn’t be affected by the Earth’s magnetic field. Or the moment when a teenage hacker is able to control the entire Internet single-handedly. This is ludicrous, and not to mention impossible.
Then there’s the terranauts’ plan to restart the core by setting off nuclear weapons around its perimeter. According to Emory University Professor Sidney Perkowitz, this is “just a crazy idea” as it’s impossible to focus nuclear explosions.
It’s no wonder “The Core” bombed at the box office. The movie was so scientifically irresponsible that it prompted Perkowitz to craft a set of guidelines to help Hollywood studios avoid future embarrassments.
But “The Core” can still be remembered as an important reminder of how important it is to use accurate science in popular entertainment. Enter the Science & Entertainment Exchange. Launched by the National Academy of Sciences in 2008, its director Rick Loverd described how popular entertainment like movies can be “hugely impactful” in people’s lives, and how the Exchange is working with filmmakers to make sure that science is used accurately in their productions.
Thanks to the Exchange, filmmakers now have access to a team of scientists who can help them make sure that their science is accurate and portrayed in a way that is both scientifically accurate and entertaining.
“The Core” may have been a flop at the box office, but it can still be remembered as an important reminder of how important it is to use accurate science in popular entertainment – and how much the Science & Entertainment Exchange can help in that regard.