Scientists and Medical Doctors in the Movies:
A Bibliography of Books and Articles in the UC Berkeley Libraries

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Mental Disability/Psychiatry in Film

Allen, Glen Scott.
"Master mechanics & evil wizards: science and the American imagination from Frankenstein to Sputnik." Massachusetts Review, 1992/93, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p505-558, 54p;
UC users only

Blakeslee, Sandra
"Scientists view themselves in TV hall of mirrors." (symposium on Hollywood and science) The New York Times May 30, 1985 v134 p14(N) pB5(L) col 1 (13 col in)

Boss, Pete.
"Vile Bodies and Bad Medicine." Screen Screen 1986 27: 14-25;Pp. 14-25
UC users only

Caudill, David S.
"Idealized Images Of Science In Law: The Expert Witness In Trial Movies." St. John's Law Review, Summer2008, Vol. 82 Issue 3, p921-949
UC users only

Chaloner, Penny.
"Perceptions of alien culture?" (scientists in science fiction) Chemistry and Industry April 15, 1999 i7 p259(3) (2085 words)

Colatrella, Carol.
"From Desk Set To the Net: Women and Computing Technology In Hollywood Films." Canadian Review of American Studies 2001 31(2): 1-14.
"Discusses the changing images that television and films present of women as scientists. Television has given more space to women, particularly in the higher levels of medicine, in the vast array of medical dramas, and films have presented more women in scientific roles, but often marginal ones. Fictionalized presentations tend to ignore the overt and covert inhospitability to women present in many scientific workplaces. The author illustrates her points with examples from the films Desk Set (1957), a romantic comedy that presents women's work as secondary to men's and offers the possibility that computers will displace female reference librarians; Disclosure (1995), featuring a man with a beautiful boss who attempts to use him as a corporate pawn and relies on exploiting men to promote her own career; and The Net (1995), depicting a somewhat ordinary woman who uses her Internet skills in a battle against an international conspiracy related to a lethal computer virus. The films show different perspectives on as-yet-unrealized ideals of how computing technology might be employed to best serve, rather than dehumanize, humanity." [America: History and Life]

Comstock, George and Tully, Heather.
"Innovation In The Movies, 1939-1976." Journal of Communication 1981 31(2): 97-105.
Examines innovators, such as scientists, as depicted in film reviews selected from the New York Times, to study the motives and consequences of the innovator's activities.

Crawford, T. Hugh.
"Glowing Dishes: Radium, Marie Curie, and Hollywood." Biography 2000 23(1): 71-89.
UC users only
"Discusses the cultural power of images of science and scientists produced by film biography. Using Mervyn LeRoy's Madame Curie (1943) as an example, the author charts the remarkable symmetry between some feminist critiques of science and some versions of feminist film theory of the 1990's, particularly in relation to notions of enlightenment, objectification, and identity." [America: History and Life]

Crawshaw, R.
"The physician at the movies." The Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha. 1987 Fall;50(4):36-40. Related Articles, Links

Crichton, Michael
"Ritual Abuse, Hot Air, and Missed Opportunities." Science 5 March 1999: Vol. 283. no. 5407, pp. 1461 - 1463
Scientists dislike negative portrayals of scientists and scientific research in the media. However, a closer examination reveals that these media images are inevitable and probably cannot be changed. Science should turn instead to practical steps to improve its image with the public.

Cultural sutures : medicine and media
Edited by Lester D. Friedman. Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2004.
Table of contents
Public Hlth RA440.5.C835 2004

Dans, Peter E.
Doctors in the movies : boil the water and just say Aah / Peter E. Dans. Bloomington, Ill. : Medi-Ed Press, c2000.
Main Stack PN1995.9.P44.D36 2000

Dans, Peter E.
"The Temple of Healing: Reflections from a Physician at the Movies." Literature and Medicine 17.1 (1998) 114-125
UC users only

Dans, Peter E.
"Women doctors in the movies." The Pharos of Alpha Omega Alpha.1999 Fall;62(4):13-4.

Daniels, Chris and Kingsley, Elizabeth.
"Reel science." The Times Educational Supplement. London: Jun 6, 2003. , Iss. 4535; pg. T12
How does cinema shape our perceptions of science and scientists? The authors discuss the impact of science-related films on popular public perception of science and scientists.

Dibbern, D.A. Jr.
"Cinema's disillusioned physician: Akira Kurosawa's red beard and Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries." Pharos Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. 1998 Winter;61(1):8-12.

Dietrich, B.
"Prince of darkness, prince of light. From Faust to physicist." Journal of Popular Film and Television Vol XIX nr 2 (Summer 1991); p 91-96
Uses John Carpenter's "Prince of darkness" to analyse the changing representation of science and technology in films, comparing those from the 1950's depicting scientists as destroyers with Carpenter's portrayal of a physicist as redeemer.

Dixon, Bernard.
"Scientists and their image." British Medical Journal. (International edition). London: Jul 24, 1993. Vol. 307, Iss. 6898; pg. 268
The effect of the movie "Jurassic Park" on the image of scientists is discussed. Many believe that the cloning of dinosaurs shown in the film will reawaken hostility toward scientists as irresponsible and dangerous.

Eisenberg, Anne
"Scientists in the movies." (negative portrayal of scientists in motion pictures) (Column) Scientific American April 1993 v268 n4 p128(1)
" Scientists have gotten a poor reputation because of the way in which they are portrayed as nerds, mad scientists or other negative characters in most motion pictures. One movie that depicts scientists in a favorable light is a documentary based on 'A Brief History of Time.'"

Elena, A.
"Skirts in the lab: Madame Curie and the image of the woman scientist in the feature film." Public Understanding of Science. 1997 Jul;6(3):269-78. Public Underst Sci. 1997 Jul;6(3):269-78. Related Articles, Links
Abstract of this article (UCB users only)

Evans, William
"Science and reason in film and television." Skeptical Inquirer Jan-Feb 1996 v20 n1 p45(4) (2788 words)
"Television and film viewers have grown to mistrust scientists and reject logical, skeptical reasoning due to the negative portrayal of scientists in media. At the same time, media has also increasingly portrayed pseudoscientific claims as valid and to show that healthy skepticism is actually dangerous. The success of television shows such as the 'X-files' lies in its presentation of pseudoscience as if they were reality and the constant erosion of one lead character's skepticism." [Expanded Academic]

Finneran, Kevin
"Prime time science: sometimes fantasy beats reality--at least on TV." (Editor's Journal) . Issues in Science and Technology Fall 2003 v20 i1 p23(1) (553 words)
UC users only

Flicker, Eva
"Between Brains and Breasts: Women Scientists in Fiction Film: On the Marginalization and Sexualization of Scientific Competence." Public understanding of science. 12, (2003), pp> 307-318
UC users only
"The popular media, film, cinema and television, contribute to the public's general understanding of science. This article focuses on the portrayal of female scientists and the reception of such depictions within the general understanding. The article questions: the images depicted; their relation to scientific reality; how such depictions have changed over time (1929-1997); and their significance within the broader social context.

Flores G.
"Mad scientists, compassionate healers, and greedy egotists: the portrayal of physicians in the movies." Journal of the National Medical Association 2002 Jul;94(7):635-58.
"Cinematic depictions of physicians potentially can affect public expectations and the patient-physician relationship, but little attention has been devoted to portrayals of physicians in movies. The objective of the study was the analysis of cinematic depictions of physicians to determine common demographic attributes of movie physicians, major themes, and whether portrayals have changed over time. All movies released on videotape with physicians as main characters and readily available to the public were viewed in their entirety. Data were collected on physician characteristics, diagnoses, and medical accuracy, and dialogue concerning physicians was transcribed. The results showed that in the 131 films, movie physicians were significantly more likely to be male (p < 0.00001), White (p < 0.00001), and < 40 years of age (p < 0.009). The proportion of women and minority film physicians has declined steadily in recent decades. Movie physicians are most commonly surgeons (33%), psychiatrists (26%), and family practitioners (18%). Physicians were portrayed negatively in 44% of movies, and since the 1960s positive portrayals declined while negative portrayals increased. Physicians frequently are depicted as greedy, egotistical, uncaring, and unethical, especially in recent films. Medical inaccuracies occurred in 27% of films. Compassion and idealism were common in early physician movies but are increasingly scarce in recent decades. A recurrent theme is the "mad scientist," the physician-researcher that values research more than patients' welfare. Portrayals of physicians as egotistical and materialistic have increased, whereas sexism and racism have waned. Movies from the past two decades have explored critical issues surrounding medical ethics and managed care. We conclude that negative cinematic portrayals of physicians are on the rise, which may adversely affect patient expectations and the patient-physician relationship. Nevertheless, films about physicians can serve as useful gauges of public opinion about the medical profession, as tools for medical education, and as instruments of positive social change in efforts to reform managed care." [PubMed]

Frayling, Christopher
"Curse of the scientist!" New Scientist; 9/24/2005, Vol. 187 Issue 2518, p48-50, 3p
UC users only

Frayling, Christopher.
Mad, bad and dangerous? : the scientist and the cinema London : Reaktion, 2005.
MAIN: PN1995.9.S267 F73 2005
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Ginn, S. R. [Reprint author].
"Brains, bodies, and mad scientists: hollywood does neuroscience." [Meeting] Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 26(1-2). 2000. Abstract No.-20.11.

Girone J. A.
"Medicine in the movies." Postgraduate Medicine. 1985;77(8):205-11

Glasser, Brian
"From Kafka to Casualty: doctors and medicine in popular culture and the arts, a special studies module." Journal of Medical Ethics 27:99-101 (2001)
UC users only
This paper describes and reflects on the content and teaching methods of a two-week medical humanities special studies module (SSM) taken by third-year students at the Royal Free & University College Medical School. It aims to add to the common pool of knowledge, and will be of use to people who are considering setting up something similar.

Glassy, Mark C.
The biology of science fiction cinema / Mark C. Glassy. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2001.
Main Stack PN1995.9.S26.G56 2001
"Science fiction films of the 1930s and 1940s were often set in dark laboratories that had strange looking glass containers with bubbling fluids and mad scientists conducting glandular and hormonal experiments. In the 1950s, films were more focused on radiation induced mutations. The 1960s and 1970s brought more sophisticated biological sciences to the movies and focused on such relatively new concepts as immunology, cyrobiology, and biochemistry. In the 1980s and 1990s, the focus of science fiction films has been DNA. This work of film criticism relates 71 science fiction films to the biological sciences. The author covers cell biology, pharmacology, endocrinology, hematology, and entomology, to name just a few topics. An analysis of each film includes a brief plot synopsis, the author's favorite quotations, the biological principles involved, the accuracy of the laboratory, and correct and incorrect biological information. In his analyses, the author sets out what would be required to achieve in real life the results seen in the movies and whether these experiments or events could actually happen." [Publishers catalog]

Gordon, Suzanne; Buresh, Bernice.
"Doc Hollywood." (Depictions Of Physicians And Nurses) The American Prospect May 21, 2001 V12 I9 P34 (1833 Words)
UC users only

Hark, Ina Rae
"Crazy like a prof: mad science and the transgressions of the rational." In: Bad : infamy, darkness, evil, and slime on screen / edited by Murray Pomerance. Albany : State University of New York Press, c2004. The SUNY series, cultural studies in cinema/video
Main Stack PN1995.9.E93.B33 2004

Haynes, R. D. (Roslynn D.)
From Faust to Strangelove: representations of the scientist in western literature / Roslynn D. Haynes. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1994.
Main Stack PN56.5.S35.H39 1994

Hendershot, Cyndy.
"The Atomic Scientist, Science Fiction Films, and Paranoia: The Day The Earth Stood Still, This Island Earth, and Killers From Space." Journal of American Culture 1997 20(1): 31-41.
UC users only
"Examines the prevalent post-World War II view of American atomic scientists as either saviors of the world or its destroyers, then comments on the increasingly paranoid atmosphere that was depicted in three contemporary science fiction movies: Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Joseph Newman's This Island Earth, and W. Lee Wilder's Killers from Space (both 1954)." [America: History and Life]

Higley, Sarah L.
"Alien intellect and the roboticization of the scientist." Camera Obscura nr 40-41 (May 1997); p 131-162
UC users only
The author argues that scientists have increasingly been portrayed in literature and motion pictures as robots. The traditional portrayal of scientists as the builder of androids, and androids as transgressors of traditional boundaries between mind and body, are discussed.

Indick, William
"Mad Scientists." In: Psycho thrillers : cinematic explorations of the mysteries of the mind / William Indick. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2006.
Main Stack PN1995.9.S87.I54 2006
Table of contents

Jones, Anne Hudson
"Medicine and the Movies: Lorenzo's Oil at Century's End." Annals of Internal Medicine 3 October 2000 Volume 133 Issue 7 Pages 567-571
UC users only

Jones, Robert A.
"The Boffin: A stereotype of scientists in post-war British films (1945 - 1970)." Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 6, No. 1, 31-48 (1997)
UC users only

Jones, R.
"Why can't you scientists leave things alone? Science questioned in British films of the post-war period (1945-1970)." Public Understanding of Science Oct;10(4):365-82. 2001
UC users only
"Considerable attention has been paid to the representation of scientists as villains in horror and science fiction films, and to the part this has played in creating the public perception of scientists. But science and scientists have also been represented in films which do not fit readily with the conventions of these genres, and these "mainstream" films allow a more detailed investigation of the public perception of science at the time they were made. This paper examines a number of British mainstream films portraying scientists and science from the period 1945-1970 to see in what ways the conduct of science was being questioned. A concern with the political control of science and the resulting secrecy is evident in a number of the films. The criticism of scientists seems to come from two contradictory directions. Scientists were either seen as too detached and unconcerned about the consequences of their work, or they were too emotional and insufficiently objective. This is in part explained by newer, less deferential attitudes to science co-existing with the older, heroic view during the period under study." [SageLink]

Kalisch P.A., Kalisch B.J.
"When Americans called for Dr. Kildare: images of physicians and nurses in the Dr. Kildare and Dr. Gillespie movies, 1937-1947." Medical heritage 1985 Sep-Oct;1(5):348-63.

Kirby, David A.
"Scientists on the Set: Science Consultants and the Communication of Science in Visual Fiction." Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 12, No. 3, 261-278 (2003)
UC users only
By exploring the relationship between the scientific community and the entertainment industry in the construction of fictional films, this paper investigates the impact that fictional representations, created with the assistance of scientists, have on the construction of scientific knowledge and the public understanding of science. I discuss the nature of science consulting on fictional films, including compensation, consultants' role in the filmmaking process, and the scientific elements consultants can impact in the films. By questioning the nature of fictional "accuracy, " I demonstrate that the scientific community's focus on "scientific accuracy" in fiction is flawed. Fictional film naturalizes both "accurate" and "inaccurate" science by presenting both as "natural" via a perceptually realistic framework.

Knight J.
"Science in the movies: Hollywood or bust." Nature. 2004 Aug 12;430(7001):720-2.
UC users only

"The mad technologist. Nature; 6/22/2006, Vol. 441 Issue 7096, p908-908, 1p
UC users only
This article reviews several motion pictures about scientists, including "Blade Runner," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "2001: A Space Odyssey," and "Primer".

Murphy, Tony P.
"That's entertainment! Or is it?" (effect of 'Star Trek' and other TV programs on kids' view of science and science education) Science Activities Spring 1995 v32 n1 p20(4) (2982 words)
UC users only

No cure for the future : disease and medicine in science fiction and fantasy
Edited by Gary Westfahl and George Slusser. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002. Contributions to the study of science fiction and fantasy ; no. 102
Main Stack PR830.S35.N6 2002
Table of contents

Noonan, Bonnie
Women scientists in fifties science fiction films Published: Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2005.
MAIN: PN1995.9.S26 N66 2005; View current status of this item
Table of contents

Pappas G, Seitaridis S, Akritidis N, Tsianos E.
"Infectious diseases in cinema: virus hunters and killer microbes." Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2003 Oct 1;37(7):939-42. Epub 2003 Sep 05.
UC users only

Perkins, Sid.
"What's wrong with this picture? Educating via analyses of science in movies and TV." Science News 166.16 (Oct 16, 2004): 250(3).
UC users only

Perkowitz, S.
Hollywood science : movies, science, and the end of the world / Sidney Perkowitz. New York : Columbia University Press, c2007.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.S26 P47 2007
Moffitt PN1995.9.S26 P47 2007

Pollack, Andrew
"Scientists seek a new movie role: hero, not villain." (Science Times pages) The New York Times Dec 1, 1998 pF1(L) col 2 (45 col in)

Raj, Y. P.
"Medicine, myths, and the movies. Hollywood's misleading depictions affect physicians, patients alike." Postgraduate Medicine. 2003 Jun;113(6):9-10, 13.

Ribalow, M.Z.
"Script doctors." (movie scientists and public perception) The Sciences Nov-Dec 1998 v38 n6 p26(6)
UC users only
" American motion pictures present conflicting views of scientists. Movies such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Strangelove, and The Island of Dr. Moreau reveal scientists that are extremely knowledgable but do not know the full implications of their knowledge. Some of these scientists are madmen who would perform any experiment on themselves or their subjects to achieve desired goals." [Expanded Academic Index]

Rosen, Alan; Walter, Garry; Politis, Tom and Shortland, Michael
"From shunned to shining: doctors, madness and psychiatry in Australian and New Zealand cinema." Medical Journal of Australia 1997 Dec 1-15;167(11-12):640-4.

Shale, R.
"Images of the medical profession in popular film." In: Beyond the stars: vol 1: : stock characters in American popular film. / edited by Paul Loukides and Linda K. Fuller. Bowling Green, Ohio : Bowling Green University Popular Press, c1990-
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.C36 B49 1990
Moffitt PN1995.9.C36 B49 1990

Shale, R.
"Images of the medical profession in the movies." Ohio State Medical Journal. 1984 Nov;80(11):775-9.

Signs of life : cinema and medicine
Edited by Graeme Harper and Andrew Moor. London ; New York : Wallflower Press, 2005.
MAIN: PN1995.9.P44 S54 2005
Contents: Magic bullets, dark victories and cold comforts: some preliminary observations about stories of sickness in the cinema / Brian Glasser -- Birth traumas: medicine, parturition and horror in Rosemary's Baby / Lucy Fischer -- The mainstream AIDS movie prior to the 1990s / Kenneth MacKinnon -- Health education films in Britain, 1919-39: production, genres and audiences / Timothy M. Boon -- Sex, death and stereotypes: disability in Sick and Crash / Tom Shakespeare -- Past imperfect, future tense: the health services in British cinema of the mid-century / Andrew Moor -- Just a story or a 'just story'? Ethical issues in a film with a medical theme / M. Roy Jobson & Donna Knapp van Bogaert -- 'Either he's dead or my watch has stopped': medical notes in 1930s film comedy / Graeme Harper -- Angels, battleaxes and good-time girls: cinema's images of nurses / Julia Hallam -- 'To catch a star on your fingertips': diagnosing the medical biopic from The Story of Louis Pasteur to Freud / Bruce Babington -- From Let There Be Light to Shades of Grey: the construction of authoritative knowledge about combat fatigue (1945-48) / C. A. Morgan III -- Imitation of life: the politics of the new genetics in cinema / Jackie Stacey.

Skal, David J.
Screams of reason : mad science and modern culture / David J. Skal. 1st ed. New York : W.W. Norton, c1998.
Main Stack PN1995.9.H6.S58 1998

Smallwood, Scott.
"As seen on TV." (portrayal of forensic science) The Chronicle of Higher Education July 19, 2002 v48 i45 pA8(3)
"Undergraduates are showing increased interest in studying forensic science, partly due to greater portrayal of this field on various television programs. Most graduates of such programs will be employed in crime laboratories, may testify in court, and do research funded primarily by instrument companies." [Expanded Academic Index]

Steinke, Jocelyn
"Connecting theory and practice: women in scientist role models in television programming." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media Wntr 1998 v42 n1 p142(12) (4114 words)
"Bem's gender schema theory (Bem 1987, 1983, 1993) provides a useful framework for examining the influence of women scientist role models on girls' perceptions of science and scientists. The purpose of this paper is (1) to describe how Bem's gender schema theory serves as a framework for guiding future research, (2) to examine the fundamental premises of Bem's gender schema theory as they relate to the processing of information about science and gender roles, and (3) to identify key conditions and criteria from gender schema theory to guide the design of television programs that use role models to reduce gender-stereotyping of science." [Expanded Academic Index]

Steinke, Jocelyn
"Women scientist role models on screen." Science Communication. Dec 1999. Vol. 21, Iss. 2; p. 111 (26 pages)
In the absence of real-life role models, children may construct an understanding of the role of women in science based largely on images of women scientists they see in the media. This study assesses the images used in the portrayal of a female astronomer in the film, Contact.

Toumey, Christopher P.
"The moral character of mad scientists: a cultural critique of science." Science, Technology, & Human Values Autumn 1992 v17 n4 p411(27)
UC users only
"The Gothic-inspired stories of mad scientists in the 19th century as adapted onto drama and film have renderd the mad scientist character more depreaved and evil. This has contributed to the overall public fear and distrust of science and scientists and does not develop a healthy interest in the scientific field. However, changes in the mad scientist's character can effect changes in the public's attitude towards science." [Expanded Academic Index]

Tudor, Andrew
Monsters and mad scientists : a cultural history of the horror movie / Andrew Tudor. Oxford [England] ; New York : B. Blackwell, 1989.
Main Stack PN1995.9.H6.T78 1989
Moffitt PN1995.9.H6.T78 1989

Tudor, Andrew
"Seeing the Worst Side of Science." Nature. London: Aug 24, 1989. Vol. 340, Iss. 6235; pg. 589, 4 pgs
Since the advent of the genre in the 1930s, horror movies have reflected public anxieties about science and technology, as seen in the stereotyped character of the "mad scientist." Changes in such stereotypes are discussed.

Vieth, Errol
Screening science: contexts, texts, and science in fifties science fiction film Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001.
UCB Main PN1995.9 .V54 2001

Waymouth, John F.
"Mad scientist as cartoon villain." Physics Today, Dec2007, Vol. 60 Issue 12, p9-9, 1/3p
UC users only

Weingart P, Muhl C, Pansegrau P
"Of power maniacs and unethical geniuses: science and scientists in fiction film." Public Understanding of Science, 12 (3): 279-287 JUL 2003
UC users only
"New knowledge has met with ambivalence, as is documented in myths ever since that of Prometheus. This ambivalence is also apparent in the representations of science in literature and the popular media, most prominent among them movies. Shelley's Frankenstein has become the icon of the "mad scientist" as depicted by filmmakers ever since the 1930s. To trace such patterns of ambivalence and stereotypes of scientists and science in fiction film, 222 movies were analyzed. It is apparent that modification of, and intervention into, the human body, the violation of human nature, and threats to human health by means of science are depicted as the most alarming aspects of scientific inquiry. The threat is dramatized by being associated with the image of the scientist as pursuing the quest for new knowledge in secrecy, outside the controls of academic institutions and peers. Scientific research as perceived by fiction film is seldom a venture across the boundaries of the permissible." [Sage Publications]

Wider, T.
"The positive image of the physician in American cinema during the 1930s." Journal of Popular Film and Television Vol XVII nr 4 (Winter 1990); p 139-152
"On the image of the physician in Hollywood films of the 1930's and 1940's. Analyses portrayals of the idealistic, selfless doctor hero in "Arrowsmith", "Doctors' wives", "Men in white", "Dark victory", "The courageous Dr. Christian" and "Dr. Kildare goes home"; incl. filmography on the doctor in popular cinema, esp. pre-1960." [FIAF]

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