While watching “Prometheus” I started regretting not studying more science. All the scientists on board the ship are really cool people with bright, diverse personalities. You have the urban hipster biologist guy, the angry punk geologist, and Charlie Holloway who is rocking the garage band look while carrying a Rubik cube video projection device. Elizabeth Shaw is the coolest of them all. She’s an archaeologist, biologist, and can give herself surgery. She’s empirically a bad-ass.
"Prometheus" is not the only summer movie championing the exploits of scientists. Two of the best Avengers are super genius scientists: Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. Tony and Bruce strike an instant science-based bromance in "The Avengers" figuring the entire movie out. Sometimes when Tony Stark talks to Captain America, you can see the little wheels turning in Steve’s head like, "Does not compute." Tony and Bruce should have their own movie, with Tom Hiddleston of course.
Also this summer we will get “The Amazing Spider-Man” with Andrew Garfield. The villain is The Lizard, who is Dr. Conners played by Rhys Ifans. I like Mr. Ifans, but I know the whole time I’ll be thinking “This should be Dylan Baker! Spider Man 4 heartbreak.”
When I was a child, I loved science. Every year, I entered the science fair and enjoyed coming up with experiments. Yet, sometime around middle school/ high school science became less fun, less experience based, less concrete. We really need to think about how we teach science in schools, injecting more action-based study and imagination based exploration. After all this magnificent scientific celebration at the movies, I’m mourning my love of science and all the fun I could have had studying it at the higher level.
I know things can be better. My high school, St. Ignatius College Prep is in the process of building a greenhouse. I would have been ALL OVER THAT seeing as botany was my go-to science experiment topic. My friend Megan, who is a scientist and educator, studies and designs action-based science projects for students. I went with her when she led group of students to a nature preserve where students could test water samples, collect plants, insects, and rocks, and observe different types of plant life. It was so amazing, but most of the kids goofed off. I would have loved a project like that in school.
Maybe it’s not too late for me. Science, technology, and the intricacies of life still fascinate me. As I look toward my new life as a grad student (read un-employed) I am going to find a way to put more science into my life.