I went to see the film The Martian yesterday. I think it is the best film I’ve seen as a film about science. It actually is about science: the hero is a botanist who saves himself not with guns but with botanical knowledge, and he escapes Mars by means of a piece of mathematical reasoning (plus some technology). My only misgiving about the film was the overly frequent use of the word “shit”: not because Watney uses his own to grow potatoes on Mars, but because the word is clearly intended to make the science audience-friendly. This was not necessary and detracts from the ethos of the film. It is perfectly possible to be a “cool dude”, if that’s what you want to be, and not say “shit” all the time. Anyway, the science glowed like the sun on Mars’s horizon.
I also enjoyed the film and think it great that science was the real hero in the story but was bothered by something else. It seems a contradiction that so much emphasis was placed on the willingness of the astronauts to make the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of mankind but yet many lives and much resource was risked just to bring Watney home. We don’t even attempt to rescue people stranded on Everest.
Just a thought.
I thought that too.