Wednesday, August 03, 2005

What you need is a degree in acting, not a Ph.D...

The Pentagon's new goal:
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?
What better way ? Hmm, maybe you could (cough) (cough) give scientists some (cough) grant money ?
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 to plot a solution to what officials call one of the nation's most vexing long-term national security problems.

Their work is being financed by the Air Force and the Army, but the Manhattan Project it ain't: the 15 scientists are being taught how to write and sell screenplays.
Oh I see. So instead of encouraging scientists to write grants, we'll get them to write $%$%$% screenplays. Admittedly, grant writing is an exercise in creative fiction, but to go this far ? And don't you read blogs ?
There aren't many stirring stories of heroic derring-do in which the protagonist saves the world and/or gets laid thanks to the well-timed development of a more efficient word processor file format translator. Sure, I've heard a few, but not many, and I doubt you'd want to hear them.
Oh and did I mention that Numb3rs will be back on the air Sep 9 ?

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