A Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists and Inventors
in American Film and TV since 1930


Hollywood Scientists
Films that dramatize historical events and the lives of historical figures—whether they are intended to educate or to entertain—play a significant role in shaping the public's understanding of the past. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists and Inventors in American Film and TV since 1930 focuses on the dramatized portrayals of a particular group of historical figures—scientists, engineers, and inventors—that have appeared on American film and television screens. This volume analyzes individual portrayals, the public images of particular scientists and inventors, and the ideas about science and technology that, collectively, they represent.

In this first in-depth study of how historic scientists and inventors have been portrayed on screen, the book catalogs nearly 300 separate performances and includes essays on the screen images of more than 80 historic scientists, inventors, engineers, and medical researchers. The individuals covered include Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Dian Fossey, and Bill Gates.

Arranged chronologically by the subject's date of birth, entries for each individual explain their major contributions to science and technology, analyze the ways in which they've been portrayed in film and on television, and conclude with a complete list of screen portrayals and a discussion of suggestions for further reading. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists and Inventors in American Film and TV since 1930 will be of interest to anyone concerned with the depiction of historical events and historical figures in film and television, and to anyone interested in the public understanding of science and technology.

Reviews

Van Riper has come up with a list of more than 80 individuals, ranging from Hippocrates and Aristotle to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates . . . A short, readable biography and evaluation of performance appearances is given for each individual, along with a short list of screen citations and list of books for further reading. While the biographies make good reference points, the introduction, which is a detailed analysis of the collected data, will be of most interest to historians of science. Summing Up: Reccommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above; general readers.

-- Choice