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20 Excellent Scientists in Mainstream Film and TV

Who are the best pop culture scientists? Meaning, the ones that are smart, accurately portrayed, and are not trying to take over the world. Den of Geek ranks twenty of them on intelligence and ethics, plus how they represent real scientists. There are some caveats, because movies and TV differ so much. How do you compare a character on a sitcom who happens to be a scientist to one who saves the world in a film? You may disagree with the results, but it’s nice to take a closer look at the scientist characters they selected and an explanation of why they ranked where they do.


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As a science-y type of person (engineer, alas), I would not have included any of the characters in The Big Bang Theory. None of them are "excellent" depiction of scientists. Just because they spout quantum physics doesn't make up for the really bad characterizations. Yes, even the "real-life" scientist Amy Fowler.

My favorite film/tv scientist will always be Dr Ellie Arroway. She's a sympathetic figure who struggles with finding ETI, while wading knee-deep in politics and religion-vs-science issues. OF course it's what you would expect from Carl Sagan.

Also, I'm surprised they did not include any of the scientists in two recent science-fiction box office hits: Gravity and Interstellar.
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