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Friday, December 9, 2011 Meeting

Holiday Party/Meeting - joint with the Chicago Chemists' Club and Iota Sigma Pi -


Sidney Perkowitz
Dr. Sidney Perkowitz

Candler Professor of Physics Emeritus,
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

“Hollywood Science: Good for Hollywood,  Bad for Science?”

Date:  Friday, December 9, 2011

Willowbrook Holiday Inn
7800 Kingery Highway
Willowbrook, IL

Cost:  $35.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $37.00 for non-members, and $20 for students, retired, or unemployed

This is the Chicago Section ACS/Chicago Chemists Club/Iota Sigma Pi Annual Holiday party/meeting.   At this event, everyone is a chemist (either practicing or honorary).   Come join in the celebration with all your fellow chemists.   In addition to our technical program, Santa will be bringing gifts!   ENJOY!

We are asking you to also bring a gift!!!   Please bring some canned food or other non-perishable food items (in non-glass containers) that we, as the ACS, can donate to a charity for needy people in the Chicagoland area.   We are also collecting clothes and toys for those less fortunate than us.  See details on page 2 of the December Chemical Bulletin.  Let's share our good fortune in the spirit of the season. THANKS!!

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091), email (, or web by noon on Tuesday, December 6.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all food orders.  No-shows will be billed.  Seating will be available for those who wish to attend only the meeting.


5:30 - 6:30 PM · Job Club
6:00 - 7:00 PM · Social Hour, cash bar, complimentary Hors D'oeuvres
7:00 - 8:00 PM · Dinner
8:10  PM · General Meeting

Topic:“Hollywood Science: Good for Hollywood,  Bad for Science?”

Abstract:  Like it or not, most science depicted in Hollywood’s feature films is in the form of science fiction. This won’t change any time soon because these films are huge moneymakers, which, however, also make them a powerful cultural force. They reach millions as they depict scientific ideas from cloning to space science, whether correctly or incorrectly; reflect contemporary issues of science and society; inspire young people to become scientists; and provide defining images – or stereotypes – for the majority of people who’ve never met a real scientist.

Many scientists feel that screen depictions of science and scientists are badly distorted, but there’s generally a nugget of real science. In this talk, based on my book Hollywood Science [1], I’ll present film clips showing good and bad screen treatments of science and scientists, and discuss ways to improve how science is treated in film including using even bad movie science to convey the real thing.

[1] Sidney Perkowitz, Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, and the End of the World (Columbia University Press, New York, 2010).  

Biography:   Dr. Perkowitz was born in New York and earned his physics doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.   After a successful research career at Emory University that produced over 100 scientific papers and books, in the early 1990s he turned to presenting science for non-scientists through the popular science books Empire of Light, Universal Foam, Digital People, Hollywood Science, and his latest, Slow Light; numerous newspaper and magazine articles; theatrical works; and a screenplay.  He has appeared on CNN, NPR, the BBC and other outlets; he frequently lectures about science in film and other topics in science and culture at venues like NASA, Microsoft, the High Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History; and he blogs for the National Academy of Sciences at  For some of Dr. Perkowitz's discussions, see  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  His website is

Map and Directions

Parking:  Free


Fresh Fruit Cup
Tomato Florentine Soup,
Tossed garden salad with choice of dressing;
Entrée choices:

Baked potato
Prince Albert blend of wax beans, green beans and carrots
Apple Cobbler



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