Sunday, October 03, 2004

I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. Heisenberg

Forget Star Chemistry. How About the Film's? (New York Times, free subscription required)

    When an online news publication is the kind that runs articles with headlines like "Disilyne at Last: Synthesis of a Silicon-Silicon Triple Bond Is Called a Milestone for Multiple-Bond Chemistry," you generally do not expect to find great concern in its pages for the finer points of moviemaking.

    And in a conversation with an editor of such a publication, you do not expect to hear her say that she really enjoyed "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," partly because of its examination of scientific ethics but also because "I just love when the bad guy goes all squishy."

    But then maybe you have not spent enough time recently with Chemical and Engineering News, the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society, which in addition to informing its readers about the latest developments in protein engineering and atomic-scale manipulation has now ventured into territory where the Heisenberg uncertainty principle really prevails: Hollywood.

    This summer, the Web site version of the weekly ( started publishing movie reviews that focus (although not exclusively) on the accuracy of the science, especially the chemistry, in the latest releases. More here (free subscription required)

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