Talking Substance in an Age of Style

olson[1]I am a huge fan of Randy Olson’s.  He directed the documentary A Flock of Dodos which covered the Kansas debate on evolution v. Intelligent Design.  Olson grew up in the Kansas City region, attended K.U. and his mother lived close to a proponant of the Intelligent Design position.

Dr. Olson has a PhD from Harvard where he studied evolutionary biology.  It has not been completely clear to me why Olson made a switch from a career as a marine biologist to a film maker, but I suspect his divorce  was a life-changing event.  Besides A Flock of Dodos, Olson completed a “mockumentary” on the global warming debate called Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy which covered the the “scientific debate” against global warming.

Olson recently published a book entitled Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style.  In this work Dr. Olson covers the strength and weaknesses of film vs. other forms of communication.  Film doesn’t so much educate as it imspires.  Being new to these notions of films, this was quite an educational experience for me; I have a copy available for loan.



Filed under Climate Change, Ethics

3 responses to “Talking Substance in an Age of Style

  1. I heard a psychiatrist lecture once, who was a partner with Jim Fey, and the question he posed to the audience was “why do hollywood actors/actresses and professional sports players deserve so much money?”

    Answer: “because they make us feel.”

    Randy Olson gets this and such helps him explain why dumb ideas like intelligent design and arguments against global warming work so well.

  2. Given the above tenet, shouldn’t our friend, Wicked, make more money?

    Yes she should! She needs a wider audience.