NAS Seeks Better Science Programming

New initiative will reach out to writers, producers, directors seeking scientific insights for projects

The National Academy of Sciences is launching a new campaign, The Science and Entertainment Exchange, in an effort to incorporate accurate scientific information into TV shows, movies and video games.

The Exchange is the first time the NAS is formally reaching out to the entertainment industry. The initiative will arrange briefings and consultations for writers, producers and directors seeking scientific or medical insights, and will connect them with leading scientists. The Writers Guild, Director’s Guild and Producers Guilds of America are all on board with the initiative.

Science has increasingly become a popular topic for exploration on scripted television. Shows such as ER, CSI and House routinely incorporate science into their plotlines, while others have been criticized for not using accurate scientific information, or even promoting pseudoscience.

"Television and film can involve the public in the latest advances in science, medicine, and technology," said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone in a statement.  "By building strong connections between the entertainment and science communities, we're hoping to provide an important service to both Hollywood and the viewing public."

Among the advisors to the exchange are HBO Films president Len Amato, Discovery president and GM of emerging networks Clark Bunting, Quarterlife creator Marshall Herskovitz and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.