Evil Scientists in the Media
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24-04-2011, 01:24 PM
Evil Scientists in the Media
I never really noticed before, but there are a LOT of "evil" scientists in literature, comics, tv-shows, movies, etc. I mean, pretty much since Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the trope of the "mad scientist" has continued to flourish. I just realised this a little while ago while I was watching some anime and all the scientists are basically whackos who want to dissect everything and do immoral human experiements >.< Likewise, my partner has been watching some Avengers cartoons, and he said that Thor straight up says, "Scientists can't be trusted".

Now, I know that there is some media that portrays scientists in a more positive light, but I'm finding it hard to think of a "good guy" protagonist who is also a scientist. Usually it's always the "bad guys" who are mad scientists who seek to set their abominable creation on humanity, or something silly like that. Seriously, what are we teaching the younger generations?! That all scientists are immoral, selfish freaks who don't care about the earth and/or humanity? This is not a good lesson to be teaching!

So, what are some other examples of "mad"/"evil" scientists in popular media? Or, how bout some examples of good scientists?

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24-04-2011, 02:14 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2011 04:25 PM by Observer.)
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
Well... In mainstream media and comics over here in Europe (and Belgium (Europe comic capital) in particular) Scientists ARE portrait friendly, gentle and wise. They have however powerful Nemesis's.
The typical cliché is that they are easily confused and almost always nothing but a sidekick.

Examples...
Prof Barabas
[Image: professor-barabas.gif]
inventor of a time machine that puts the main characters of the series inside a historical event. As a kid, i learned more from history by reading this strip then by lecture at school. The author put a lot of research in the strip. Prof Barabas is also a skeptic towards sorcery and his main busyness is inventing medicine against seldom diseases, deep sea research and plants that grow everywhere to cure the hunger in the world. Environmentalist. The series focuses on 6 to 14 year old but adults enjoy them as well. (He was my hero when i was a kid)

Prof Gobelijn
[Image: gobelijn.gif]
Jeremias Gobelijn is professor in everything Smile
Very intelligent. His absentmindedness is often the cause of a lot of trouble but he is kind and has a good intend. The series focuses on 5 to 10 year old. Most of them think the way he states the exact opposite of what he means hilarious.

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRCpD01d-2UAsw01tbENAv...1HjLar7fiw]
I bet you know this one from Tintin. Not a psycho either...

Anyway...
I agree that, once you become adult, it is harder to find a "good" scientist in a story. They exist however, if you look closely.
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcScpDkh6C9WJaEpl_JIRz4...7dT2_eFVjA]
(this gentleman used the plutonium he got to make a bomb in his time machine instead)
[Image: 40373.gif.jpg]
(Gordon Freeman. scientist and hero of Half-life and Half-life II)

But they are seldom and the movie-cliché that the skeptic is the first one to die is one of the major reasons I don't watch movies anymore.

Observer

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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24-04-2011, 04:37 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
The evil scientist is an easy metaphor to work with, so it's very common. And we know what kids think of doctors now they have HOUSE as a model doctor..

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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24-04-2011, 05:15 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2011 07:35 PM by Cetaceaphile.)
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
The whole protagonist cast of Half Life seem to be scientists. There is also Star Trek where often the antagonists are primitive and brutal and are often defeated by some science trick.

Does for the most part seem that scientists are the bad guys in everything though.

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24-04-2011, 06:30 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
People are afraid of anything they don't understand.
Rich people are all believed to be in a super mega conspiracy to exterminate the human race.
Scientists are almost always stereotyped to be the progeny of Dr.Frankenstein.
With lack of education it's easy to manipulate people , the less they know the more they fear the unknown. And rather than trying to bridge this gap most appeal to an emotional solution and fantasy of reality might be.

@CEtaceaphile
That was true while Roddenberry was still alive. After his death the Borg showed up and the whole dark side of technology. I feel Star Trek never recovered back to its roots of a peaceful human future and the use of technology to unlock the stars to us.

@observer
Belgium is in the EU right ? I may just move there - just in case I decide to breed. Big Grin

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25-04-2011, 02:44 AM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(24-04-2011 06:30 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  @observer
Belgium is in the EU right ? I may just move there - just in case I decide to breed. Big Grin
Great, then you can become "heidekneuter" like the rest of us... Smile

Observer

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25-04-2011, 06:39 AM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(25-04-2011 02:44 AM)The_observer Wrote:  
(24-04-2011 06:30 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  @observer
Belgium is in the EU right ? I may just move there - just in case I decide to breed. Big Grin
Great, then you can become "heidekneuter" like the rest of us... Smile

Please translate so I know what I'm getting myself into.
BTW - wasn't your country about to split on the whole language issue ? Sorry to bring it up. Sad

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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25-04-2011, 11:38 AM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(25-04-2011 06:39 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Please translate so I know what I'm getting myself into.
BTW - wasn't your country about to split on the whole language issue ? Sorry to bring it up. Sad
try this... Smile

Well... Still no fed gov if that is what you mean. About a year now...

Observer

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25-04-2011, 11:55 AM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(24-04-2011 01:24 PM)SecularStudent Wrote:  Now, I know that there is some media that portrays scientists in a more positive light, but I'm finding it hard to think of a "good guy" protagonist who is also a scientist. Usually it's always the "bad guys" who are mad scientists who seek to set their abominable creation on humanity, or something silly like that. Seriously, what are we teaching the younger generations?! That all scientists are immoral, selfish freaks who don't care about the earth and/or humanity? This is not a good lesson to be teaching!

McCoy, Scotty, and Spock of Star Trek - hell, even Kirk, to a lesser extent. Geordi, Data, and others throughout the series, as well.

Gordon Freeman of Half-Life has already been mentioned.

The protagonist of I Am Legend is also a scientist, albeit a self-taught one.

Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. Bruce Wayne is also an amateur scientist and forensic expert, at least in the comics. Mister Fantastic. Beast. And so on.

What you're seeing isn't that there are no "good" scientists in media - it's that there are few main character good scientists in the media, because scientists are lab workers in the public's mind. Any good scientists tend to be bookish, introverted types, but they do exist. They're just not in the spotlight most of the time.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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25-04-2011, 12:41 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
My daughter watches a show called "No Ordinary Family" (which means I watch it too. Not too bad either). The "Mom" is a scientist.

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