Real Scientists in Sci-Fi: Balancing Accuracy and Offense

  • Thread starter kered rettop
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  • #1
kered rettop
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I suppose it's not exclusive to sci-fi writing but sci-fi must run into this problem quite frequently. I would like to cast real scientists into a story (Bohr and Feynman for example). Obviously I have to guess the sort of things they might have said if they had really encountered the mock-science that underpins the story. I just want to avoid offending anyone or, getting into worse trouble.

I'm Ok with not naming them specifically. "One of the audience in the front row was half-hidden by a set of bongo drums" should make it clear whom I mean. But what about Bohr, who is impatient with the speaker because her theory sounds even more far-fetched than that of Everett? There's a lovely opportunity for some gentle satire, but is it acceptable in today's snowflake culture?

Apart from "if in doubt, cut it out", what do you think?

Thanks
 
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  • #2
kered rettop said:
I would like to cast real scientists into a story

"Wrong again, Albert!" :smile:



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  • #3
kered rettop said:
But what about Bohr
Just call him Nicholas Baker. As they say on FB "if you know you know."
 
  • #4
kered rettop said:
"One of the audience in the front row was half-hidden by a set of bongo drums"
That must be an enormously large set of bongo drums, or else he was holding them in front of his face...
 
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  • #5
Take a look at a novel. You see where it says "This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.” That is not there for decoration. It's there for a reason.

If you are writing urban fantasy, feel free to amend this to "living, dead or undead".
 
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  • #6
Fair enough. Goodbye Neils, goodbye Richard. I shall miss you. :cry:
 
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  • #7
Mark44 said:
That must be an enormously large set of bongo drums, or else he was holding them in front of his face...
Do I have to spell everything out? If you must know, he'd just been shrunk down by a passing spacetime anomaly. :oldbiggrin:
 
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