Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Scene 31: Five Fictional Women Scientists from TV

Yesterday was Ada Lovelace Day, is an annual event to raise awareness of women in the sciences. This includes engineers, technologists, scientists and mathematicians. 

To celebrate I have done a short list of some fictional female scientists from TV, that have hopefully been an inspiration to girls and guys who've watched the shows.

The list is in no particular order, and covers a range of genres, though generally I have ended up picking characters I am familiar with and that are in science fiction. I have also decided to stick to characters where it has been made clear that they are scientists or have degrees within the shows - for example, I have not included T'Pol from Enterprise even though she was the Science Officer, as it is unclear which science she works in.  

I have also included links other articles on the web, mostly Wiki entries, about the listed characters professions, and the different sciences. 

1] Colonel Sam Carter - Stargate series

Sam Carter was a theoretical astrophysicist, pilot and engineer, and one of the most intelligent female characters across the whole Stargate series. She was part of the original team along with Dr Jackson, Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c. 

2]  Dr Liz Shaw - Doctor Who

Liz Shaw was a scientist from Cambridge University who was recruited by UNIT. An expert on meteorites  with degrees in medicine and physics, she assisted the Third Doctor whilst he was at UNIT until she resigned to continue her own research. 

3] Abby Sciuto - NCIS

Abby is a Forensic Specialist working at NCIS. A kind, cheerful Goth, she is an expert in DNA analysis, ballistics and digital forensics.

4] Zoe Heriot - Doctor Who

Zoe was a scientist on board Space Station W3 when she met the Second Doctor. She is an astrophysicist, and a first class astrometricist with a degree in pure mathematics and a photographic memory. 

5] Dr Amy Farrah Fowler - The Big Bang Theory

Amy is a neuroscientist, who does research into addiction. She was introduced to show as a dating website match found by Raj and Leonard for Sheldon, who she is very similar too. The actress who plays her, Mayim Bialik, actually has a real Ph.D in neuroscience.

For more inspiration check out this video of some young female scientists and engineers showing off their projects in America. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Scene 30: Animated Movies, You Know, For Teens!

Whilst browsing through Empire this evening - looking for inspiration for tonight's blog post, as all I have been watching recently is How I Met Your Mother (he still hasn't met her yet...). I came across a trailer for an autobiographical film of Graham Chapman, which I think is set to be released in 2013. What makes it so unusual though and interesting though, is that the film is animated, by 14 different animation studios in fact! 

Because, lets be honest, it is not often that an animated film comes out solely aimed at adults. True, over the last few years CGI films have managed to appeal everyone with successes such as Toy Story (1995), Ice Age (2002), WALL-E (2008) and Monsters Inc. (2001).  As have some stop-motion films, such as Wallace and Gromit and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) and Chicken Run (2000). 

However, an animated film, aimed solely at an adult audience is a rare thing indeed. After all, when is the last time you saw a Disney film with a 15 certificate? Exactly. 

There are only two films, off the top of my head, that I think of can be considered as more for adults. First of all is The Simpsons Movie (2007). Now, technically that is a family movie, but The Simpsons does lean much more to the adult audience in its use of humour and issues. Quite a lot of the stuff in The Simpsons will go over kids heads. 

The second, is the indie movie Sita Sings the Blues (2008). A beautiful film, completely animated by one woman, it would probably be best appreciated by adults. 

Of course, I don't think these can be the only films. So out of curiosity I decided to do a quick search and see what others I could find. What I found was a top twenty list that reminded me how many excellent animated films there were out there for adults. I couldn't believe I had forgotten them, especially some of my most favourite films, Persepolis (2007) and Yellow Submarine (1968)! 

Check out the full list of 20 Great Animated Movies for Adults here and please comment and tell me your favourite grown-up animated films.