Dr. Rebecca Thompson, Head of Education and Public Outreach, Fermilab
The finale of Game of Thrones was the most-watched single show in HBO’s history and Frozen II was the highest-grossing animated movie ever. Clearly these blockbusters, and others like them, are telling stories that people want to hear. They are also packed with science concepts. From Valyrian steel to snow anchors, storytelling relies on science to drawn in and keep an audience. Just as important is how they can use deviations from real-life science effectively without pushing the audience out of the story. This talk with focus on how many of the pop culture juggernauts incorporate science, whether consciously or unintentionally, to strengthen the story and audience engagement.
Rebecca Thompson is the Head of Education and Public Outreach at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab. After receiving her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin, she joined the staff of American Physical Society where she led their public engagement efforts for 11 years. While there she authored the popular Spectra, The Laser Superhero series of physics comic books. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Sigma Xi honors society. Her first book, Fire, Ice, and Physics; The Science of Game of Thrones, was released in October 2019.
Top Image: Complete solar eclipse from as viewed from Carbondale, IL. - Aug. 2017