Monday, April 23, 2007

Science consultant for TV

I always thought it would be fun to be a consultant for movies & TV, which are desperately needed, judging by the amount of cringe-inducing moments in Hollywood. Even "24" has science advisers:
"The show was interested in this scenario: Terrorists release a biological agent in a hotel air conditioning system, making people sick in a matter of minutes and killing roughly 2,000 people within a few hours. They concocted a genetically engineered "Cordella virus" to do it, and wanted government officials to be able to wave an electronic device that could instantly detect the virus in the air. They consulted CDC officials, who said there are no such devices. The CDC also suggested that health officials might try to deal with such a situation by isolating the ill from the well, perhaps reducing the contagion's impact, said Dr. Mitchell Cohen, director of CDC's Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases. The writers took the tip, and the final death toll fell to under 800. "We saved 1,200 virtual people," said Cohen, who consulted with the "24" writers and did an on-camera interview for the DVD boxed set of the series. "


kamel said...

From the article: "In a 2000 CDC-sponsored survey, more than half of TV viewers said they trust health information on prime-time shows to be accurate, and about one-quarter said prime-time television is one of their top three sources of health information." Wow.