How The Media Portrays Science To The Society Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Communication - Journalism Type: Essay Paper: #16900521 Related Topics: Human Reproduction, Media Bias, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Media

A scientist is a person who engages in systematic activities in order to gain knowledge. A person who makes use of scientific methods is also a scientist. The person must be an expert in one scientific field. A scientist will study the world, perform experiments, develop theories and write all this in papers (Weingart, 2012). Any person who is interested in the sciences is a scientist. From amateurs to professionals, provided the individual is curious to find out what would happen when he performs an experiment, the person is a scientist. Some of the famous scientists are Charles Darwin, Aristotle, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Leonardo Da Vinci. These scientists have been widely covered and spoken of in the media. These individuals have excelled in their respective fields. They have experimented and made theory discoveries that are still in use to date. Most of their works have not been objected, and other scientists have used their initial theories to discover and build upon their theories. The scientists were curious, and they were willing to experiment with different theories. This experimentation led to the discovery of new theories, which they especially in mechanics. The vision of a scientist is someone who works in a laboratory and wears a white coat. The second vision is an individual who is conducting research in something obscure or distant from daily life. Third vision of a scientist is a person interested in different scientific fields and willing to study and experiment to discover new things or theories.

The media has portrayed scientists as individuals who only care about their interest in science. Case in point is scientists who experiment with human life and human reproduction. This has influenced the image people have of scientists. Currently, people view scientists as evil people. The media has made science look wacky, or scary. There have been instances when science stories have been portrayed as increasing an individual's IQ, but there was no actual research conducted. This has influenced the image people have of scientists, which resulted in most people not believing that scientists are genuine. Scientists carrying out medical research are viewed as heroes, but they are limited because they have to work under corporations. This means the drugs they develop become too expensive. Scientists are now more respected than they were previously. The research they carry out is received differently, but they continue to perform research in their various fields. The ground-breaking research carried out by scientists has changed people's perspective of scientists. Medical research has been revolutionized, and there are diseases that have been completely wiped out. This has only been possible because of scientific research. Scientists have to observe a code of conduct, which is closely monitored by the government and other agencies. Scientists are viewed as smaller gods who have the ability to recreate life. The advancements made in the embryonic reproduction has resulted in the molly the sheep. The laboratory incubation of humans has been widely fought, but the scientists were aiming at assisting couples who cannot reproduce naturally. The different aspects that people view human reproduction should be modified to allow for scientific research that would benefit humans. Though most people discriminated against the research, it was clear that further research would have allowed for scientific advancement in the field. The various advancements made in the field have influenced other people to take up various studies in order to build upon previous research by scientists (Brossard & Scheufele, 2013). Further research demonstrates the curiosity of people and their willingness to advance the field under study.

Fictional scientists are normally presented as either villains or heroes. Some of the scientists have are both heroes and villains in their characters. This representation is both encouraging and discouraging, but most people see the characters are forced to do evil. The directors have managed to present the characters in a manner that supports their evil activities. For example, Walter White from Breaking Bad is a chemistry teacher who also cooks meth. He is an effective teacher who uses his analytical brain in the performance of his duty and impart knowledge...


He aims at nurturing his students using his instincts. Walter is forced to start cooking meth and be a drug dealer in order to support his family because he has cancer. He has managed to justify his criminal enterprise using this explanation. Walter makes use of basic science in order to get out of tricky situations, and takes pride in cooking the best batch of meth. This clearly demonstrates the teacher does enjoy making the drug as he enjoys teaching. A glimmer of a nerd outsmarting the DEA, or other drug kingpins is seen on him most of the times. Walter Bishop in Fringe is a character that is not afraid to take risks. He was the lead military scientist in the 70s where he conducted controversial experiments. Some of the experiments included creating subterranean torpedoes, reanimating brains of the dead, and invisibility using electromagnetic energy. Walter also developed a portal to a parallel universe with his partner William Bell. They discovered this portal after ingesting large doses of LSD. The two would later develop technology that enabled them to see and travel to an alternate universe. Walter Bishop would later use his skills to fight off invasion of the earth. He might have been a villain previously, but he was later demonstrated as a hero.

In fictional media, science is portrayed as a positive and negative force. The creators of this programs or shows aim at showing that science is good, but there are limitations. If a scientist is allowed to cross the line, he or she might result to conducting controversial experiments. Agent Dana Scully of The X-Files was a scientist who did not jump to any conclusions without analyzing the facts of the situation. This allowed her to make clear judgments even when the possibilities were in direct conflict with her science conventions. All scientists should keep their minds open even when presented with possibilities that go against their beliefs. Scully was able to solve different cases using scientific facts, and not argument presented by Fox Mulder. This series portrayed science as a positive force that aimed at solving mysteries using facts and not assumptions. The series managed to train people to look for the facts and not rely on what they are told or what they think. In the Fringe series, Dr. Walter Bishop and his partner Dr. William Bell were allowed to use science to perform research on young children. The experiments were controversial, and most of the children became villains or mentally handicapped. The only child who managed to survive and excel from the tests was Agent Olivia Dunham. Experimenting on children without the consent of the parents was illegal, which makes the show directors to portray science as a negative force. However, the show still does use the same scientist to solve and save the world. The deeds performed by Walter during his hey days are portrayed as mistakes, which Walter does regret. Walter discovered his earlier mistakes and requested that a part of his brain be removed to ensure that he does not repeat the controversial researches. After the removal, Walter was placed in a mental institution for 17 years because he was declared mentally unfit and. He was only released in order to assist in solving fringe cases that no one understood.

The different portrayals of scientists in the media do have a direct effect on how people view scientists. The various media platforms have managed to show people a side of scientists that they do not have access to. People have become more aware of what is currently happening and not all they see impresses the society. Some of the shows have shown that scientists perform impressive and important work that is beneficial to the society. Scientists who assist the police or government to solve mysterious cases are using their skills in a good way. There are also villains who make use of science to execute their evil deeds aimed at destroying the world. Scientists perform incredible work, but provided they continue to be demonstrated in the same light, society will continue being influenced by media reports and shows. Scientists have always kept their works secret, and most media reports only come to light after an incidence has occurred. This makes the society hate scientists because of the information they read or see in the media. Scientists should embrace the media and use this platform to open up and demonstrate their activities. The television shows are fictional and never based on real situations. People should understand this fact and stop associating science with the shows. People do not have access to all that happens in a laboratory. Therefore, they rely on the information they receive in the media. The manner the information is presented does not matter. Television shows have managed to develop captivating scripts that people bond and relate with.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D.A. (2013). Science, new media, and the public. Science, 339(6115), 40-41.

Jarman, R., & McClune, B. (2010). Developing students' ability to engage critically with science in the news: identifying elements of the 'media awareness' dimension. The Curriculum Journal, 21(1), 47-64.

Weingart, P. (2012). The lure of the mass media and its repercussions on science The Sciences' Media Connection -- Public Communication and its Repercussions (pp. 17-32): Springer.

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