NASA representatives recently met with Hollywood executives to discuss the portrayal of space and science in movies.  Many movies have presented such a distorted view of how the universe works that scientists are finding it harder and harder to communicate their work to the general public.  One particular film, 2012, built such a convincing case for the end of the world that many people were genuinely frightened, believing that the world would soon be ending.  “The film makers took advantage of public worries about the so-called end of the world as apparently predicted by the Mayans of Central America, whose calendar ends on December 21, 2012,” Donald Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission, told the Sunday Times.  “The agency is getting so many questions from people terrified that the world is going to end in 2012 that we have had to put up a special website to challenge the myths. We have never had to do this before.”
As part of the discussions, NASA presented a list of the best and worst science fiction films, rated according to the quality of science presented.  Unsurprisingly, 2012 topped the Bad Science list, with it’s utterly ludicrous premise, unrealistic special effects and frankly bizaare technology.  The full list can be found below:
 

Worst Sci-Fi Movies

1. 2012 (2009)
2. The Core (2003)
3. Armageddon (1998)
4. Volcano (1997)
5. Chain Reaction (1996)
6. The 6th Day (2000)
7. What the #$*! Do We Know? (2004)

Most Realistic Films

1. Gattaca (1997)
2. Contact (1997)
3. Metropolis (1927)
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
5. Woman in the Moon (1929)
6. The Thing from Another World (1951)
7. Jurassic Park (1993)

About Allen Versfeld

Allen is an amateur astronomer, an IT professional, a podcaster, a father of five beautiful kids and a barely competent chess player. He is also the director of the Astrophotography Section of the Astronomical Society of South Africa, where he coordinates and promotes the activities of people who are far better photographers than him.


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