Thursday, August 04, 2005

Scientists get trained in writing screenplays

Update (6 August 2005)

This story has now been slashdotted.

This story is truly weird:

Tucked away in the Hollywood hills, an elite group of scientists from across the country and from a grab bag of disciplines - rocket science, nanotechnology, genetics, even veterinary medicine - has gathered this week ... [...] ... the 15 scientists are being taught how to write and sell screenplays.

The program is funded by the Pentagon. Did I hear you say, 'Huh, you must be kidding'? Read on.

Exactly how the national defense could be bolstered by setting a few more people loose in Los Angeles with screenplays to peddle may be a bit of a brainteaser. But officials at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research spell out a straightforward syllogism:

Fewer and fewer students are pursuing science and engineering. While immigrants are taking up the slack in many areas, defense laboratories and industries generally require American citizenship or permanent residency. So a crisis is looming, unless careers in science and engineering suddenly become hugely popular, said Robert J. Barker, an Air Force program manager who approved the grant. And what better way to get a lot of young people interested in science than by producing movies and television shows that depict scientists in flattering ways?

If the Indian Armed Forces have a plan to train academics in writing Bollywood screenplays, I can recommend someone who has this great story about ...

Nah! The mind truly boggles!


  1. Anonymous said...

    Could swear I saw a Wanted ad/flyer for somehting extremely similiar on campus. I work at MIT so I guess it figures.