Can we resurrect dinosaurs, Jurassic Park-style? Are we living in The Matrix's digital simulation? Do aliens with acid blood exist somewhere in the universe? Will we ever go back and visit 1955? And just why were the original Planet of the Ape movies so terrible?
In Science(ish), Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks confront all the questions that your favourite movies provoke. Inspired by their award-winning podcast, this popular (hopefully) science (definitely) book dedicates each chapter to a different sci-fi classic, and explores the fascinating issues that arise.
Covering movies from 28 Days Later to Ex Machina, this is a ride through astrophysics, neuroscience, psychology, botany, artificial intelligence, evolution, and plenty more subjects you've always wanted to grasp.
Rick Edwards is best known as a TV and Radio presenter, but one who just happens to have a degree from Cambridge in Natural Sciences. Dr Michael Brooks holds a PhD in quantum physics, and has become known as a journalist, broadcaster, and author of a weekly column for the New Statesman. He's also written several books - including the brilliant "13 Things that Don't Make Sense". The two came together to produce the podcast "Science(ish), which discusses the science behind popular films - and it's those conversations that form the backbone of this book.
Starting with recent film "The Martian" and continuing to cover films as different as "Back to the Future" and "28 Days Later", Science(ish) explores and, where possible, explains the concepts at the heart of these films, and explores just how possible the scenarios imagined with in them, are.
Now, I have to be honest – I’m no scientist. So much so in fact, that I received a D in Double Science at School, and that sorry affair fifteen or so years ago was the last time I dared pick up a test tube or attempted to remember the rules of physics.
However, the theories and thoughts contained within “Science(ish) are explained in such a way that a layman like me wasn’t lost – instead I found myself engaged with well explained concepts, intelligent humour and a heap of respect for some of the iconic films that are mentioned here.
Edwards and Brooks appear to have a great rapport together, and it’s conveyed nicely here, letting the reader in on the jokes whilst dazzling them with some popular science.
Don’t go into this expecting a science textbook – but also don’t go into it expecting an extremely light science read, as there are some rather complicated concepts involved which, even with the excellent explanations, still took me a while to get my head around! However, this is an incredibly fun read that pays tribute to some magical moments on the silver screen whilst educating and informing the reader with wit and knowledge.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy.