Focus on fiction

Science and fiction were among the topics of the World Conference of Science Journalists in July 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Kath LingenfelterNicole Perlman, both from the US, and Anna Wu from China are three of the best sci-fi screenwriters in the business. They have been working on »House, M.D.« and »Westworld«, »Guardians of the Galaxy« and »The Wandering Earth« respectively, among many other productions. In Lausanne they discussed the delicate balance of drama and accuracy necessary in science fiction and gave insights into their own origin stories in writing science fiction, and into some of the best science-in-fiction examples in recent history.
Like all screenwriters, they have to tell a compelling story with characters the audience will root for. But as standouts in the genre they also succeed at grounding spectacular plots in real science. They all agreed that, obviously, they can take some liberties with the science when writing fiction, but they also stressed that getting the science right (or as right as possible when dealing with the future) is the far more rewarding endeavor, for audiences and writers alike. And they let the audience feel their enthusiasm to track down arcane scientific details for their stories (like the shape of familiar constellations of stars when seen through a black hole) and their genuine interest in the topics of their productions (like correctly portraying CPR and other medical procedures).
Their best-practice examples ranged from the darkly funny cartoon series »Rick and Morty« (available in Germany on Netflix) all the way to the bloody mess that comes from internal bleeding in zero G in the ever amazing space opera »The Expanse«.

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