Department or Program

Cinema and Media Studies

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

N. Adriana Knouf


This thesis explores historical trends in the depiction of scientists in popular film from 1931 to present, emphasizing how both scientific developments and current events influence the characterization of movie scientists and how these popular depictions of scientists can, in turn, have real-world influence. In addition to giving a historical overview of these trends, this thesis examines case studies looking specifically at the evolving relationship between space science and cinema, the representation of historical scientists in biographical films, and the evolution of scientist characters in two scientist-starring short stories, "Who Goes There?" and "The Fly," and their respective film adaptations and subsequent remakes.