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date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Studies of popular culture show that contemporary images of science have become far less negative and much more complex than earlier stereotypical depictions. Scientists are now more likely to be characterized as heroes rather than villains, and modern scientist characters exhibit a moral complexity not found in previous portrayals. But the historic depiction of scientists as white, privileged American males has not changed. Scholarly analyses demonstrate a shift away from fictional interpretations of scientific knowledge as inherently dangerous toward a representation of science as being threatening only when it is unregulated and freed from ethical constraints. Recent entertainment media renders science more accessible by demystifying the scientific process even if these texts still portray science as a domain for elites. Past representations of science as a secretive and mysterious practice have also been replaced by a new public image of science as a practice that has an almost preternatural certainty.

Keywords: scientist, texts, representations, images, popular culture, stereotypes, fiction, entertainment media

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