Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The Scully Effect (theastoundinganalogcompanion.com)
119 points by joebig 17 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 89 comments

Highly relevant:

TIL that Leonard Nimoy met many fans who became scientists because of Spock's example, and talked to the 'Star Trek' actor as if he were a fellow researcher. Nimoy always nodded and told them, "Well, it certainly looks like you’re headed in the right direction."


TIL that DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy on 'Star Trek') had wanted to become a doctor, but could not afford medical school. He received many letters from fans who went into medicine because of his character: "To influence the youth of the country ... is an award that is not handed out by the industry".


TIL that James Doohan (Scotty on 'Star Trek') received an honorary doctorate from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The university gave him the degree after half of its students said in a survey that his character had inspired them to choose engineering as a career.


Patrick Stewart influenced me to drink even more tea.

Btw, every time we have another war, fail to meet climate goals, etc, I imagine Jean-Luc looking down on us through a force-field window of the Enterprise in orbit, sighing: "Savages."

Spock was somehow was equally damning just by saying "fascinating!"

That eyebrow!

Jonathon Frakes influenced me to pick up the trombone.

Kate Mulgrew influenced me to drink even more coffee ;) "There's coffee in that nebula!"

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

I am not a woman, but I consider Silence of the Lambs to be in my top five favorite films, and a large part of the reason I love it so much is because of how it actually talks about sexism in more subtle ways. The male characters aren’t overtly sexist to Clarice, but there’s tons of little microagresssions (e.g. multiple male characters making a pass at her when she’s just trying to do a job, the Crawford subtly trying to talk to the police chief without her because he thinks woman can’t handle gruesome details, etc.). None of the characters are really doing anything reportable, and they’re not “bad” people, and they’re not cartoonish stereotypes of sexists. It was something I noticed even as a teenager watching the movie the first time. I would like to think I am a tiny bit more aware of institutional sexism than I would have been without the movie.

It’s too bad that everything else in the Hannibal universe has blown chunks.

It's interesting that your memory focuses on what the men were doing, and hers on the woman's hero story.

I liked the Hannibal TV show (at the time). Is it worse than I remember?

I think about Clarice's character growth a lot as well, I was just bringing up the sexism stuff because I thought it was relevant to the article.

Clarice's character growth is (brilliantly) almost spoiled by the movie's title; the lambs screaming in her head symbolize a sense of failure and guilt that she's carried for her entire life; stopping Buffalo Bill, if only for a moment, made the metaphorical lambs silent.

I got pretty bored with the TV show, it just kind of kept going. It also felt like they kept acting Will Graham like had a superpower just because he had empathy for serial killers? My wife and I got almost exactly halfway through the series, and eventually I asked her "do we really want to keep watching this?" and she said "nope" and we turned on something else.

Also, I'm pretty annoyed that they decided to double-down on Hannibal's samurai origin story from Hannibal Rising, which I thought was pretty dumb.

Not sure if you are including Manhunter in the blowing chunks category, but consider checking it out. Quality Michael Mann movie.

I didn’t really like that one either, though I think that has more to do that I’ve never been able to vibe with Michael Mann’s style.

Diversity cannot be based solely on the visual assortment of your characters, or checking all the boxes to make sure that everyone is included - that gets a sort of representation but often so obviously forced, so cliche, one dimensional, characters that have been done so many times before, we all know exactly why they are there - to brag about the "diversity"

I'm a gay man in my 30s - there wasn't really representation of me onscreen til recently, what was there was a stereotype that I saw repeatedly and really didn't do me any favors.

Funny so many are mentioning Star Trek, I'm on a watch of the whole shows RN and I just got to Discovery - coming from Enterprise and after so many critics praised the diverse cast and LGBT characters, I was curious and expecting better than I'd seen Trek at least do before.

Instead, Discovery is an example of exactly the kind of manufactured diversity I don't want to see, at all - the same predictable "one size fits all" lazy bs that is honestly almost worse than no representation at some point

I'm on episode 6-7, maybe it gets better but so far such a predictable disappointment

There's a persistent, pervasive conflation between diversity of identity and viewpoint. I find that the modern era doesn't tolerate diversity of viewpoint except to fall under one of 2 nearly hermetically-sealed, tribal camps in their pre-approved flavor of rigid orthodoxy. As such the people who believe themselves to be "liberal" in the modern era appear to convey illiberal, intolerant, and inconsistent behaviors they supposedly oppose in the other camp. It could also be an extension of US celebrity culture and hyperindividualism with the evolution of social media.

Celebrating diversity as a central feature while trying to shoehorn in substance as an afterthought destroys the credibility of both. Equality/equity for all means not going off the rails with selective exaltation. Only the DEI cult wants a DEI movie category when they turn on Netflix.

In other societies where discrimination appears rarer and tolerance is greater, I notice different interaction patterns. For example, I used to have a startup in the UK that inherited staff from a partner's company. We (the managing directors) had to give a little side eye to the IT manager (Argentine) and one of the other managers (African) because they would tease each other with the most racist slurs imaginable as morning daily greetings in jest. It was only okay so long as no customers or outsiders would hear, and only if everyone else around was genuinely not bothered (mostly sales people with thick skins, the sales manager was a middle-aged woman who was absolutely riotously-hilarious at the pub). I appreciated that they were fond of each other, but there's a balance to walk between personal freedoms and professionalism at work. These managers understood contextual appropriateness and that no identities were material, it was their work that mattered.

Perhaps diversity of identity should be not be a central feature to be either celebrated or discriminated against, but acknowledged nonchalantly, make jokes about, and not make such a fuss about.

You are touching on "the button" rn tbh - Diversity AS identity seems to be the new thing.

Nothing good can come from establishing an identify around the ways you are different from "the majority" - it's all external stuff, like fundamentally the wrong foundational stuff

I get downvoted all the time on Gay subs bc I frequently advocate we all just call ourselves queer and drop the divisive lettering system based on our sexual appetites that we then have to explain to strangers - or worse, family.

I thought I was brilliant til I realized that's what they want, they want to be ACE, asked by Grandma what that means and then to have to explain that - THAT is their chosen identity.

The stereotype is still as strong as ever. I do not feel represented at all by overly gay flamboyant men whose only personality trait seems to be that they happen to have sex with other men. The typical "gay voice" is also largely an American phenomenon.

Most gay people are perfectly normal people and their sexuality isn't the thing that defines them. Hollywood hasn't received that message yet I think.

That's the rub with stereotypes and film when they insist on a lack of subtly for audiences that apparently can't handle or notice it. Perhaps it's acceptable for sitcoms where the characters are intentionally superficial, but generally it represents a demographic poorly to attribute unflattering attributes to a group, be it the flamboyant gay man or the unlucky, weak man.

Where I live in the US now, gay cis tend to be both widely-accepted and very common such that it's no longer a stressor in everyday situations. There are trans people including trans males, which are less common but exist in greater numbers with anxieties and reservations gay cis people had 20 years ago. Outside of the area, Christian white nationalist patriarchy is the norm.

At least in Europe, I can't such I agree much with the narrative of christian nationalism with racial tendencies. The uncomfortable dislike I've experienced from christians does not compare in the slightest to the active and dangerous hate I've experienced from middle eastern individuals. I'll take the awkward German stare any day over threats of physical violence.

My unfavorable viewpoint is that over-the-top stereotypes only serve to induce more nonacceptance.

I don't kno... where I live the Christians have completely won, there are very, very few identifiable queer people here.

Instead, men that would otherwise be Gay - prolly anywhere else in the world, live 1950s era queer lives here, complete with the wife, kids and secret sex with men.

If I go on sniffies or Grindr rn, the majority of ppl will be married men, some go as far as to say shit like, " married, straight, cis man, looking for the same"

I run into these men, they kno I kno what they are - most can't look me in the eye after they realize I'm not one of the cool ones that will help them cheat on their wife.

I'd rather be beat up 1000 times than have down to me whatever their church did to them to make them all right living such a life

I didn't mean to hijack the conversation - I started pondering the substantial impact Scully has had on American society. As a role model to young girls - absolutely, as pointed out by this article. She had a pretty profound but more immeasurable effect on male/female dynamics in general.

The famous duo, she is so obviously the smart one and he obviously a typical alpha male - needs to be in charge, so she "let's him think he is" so to say, that whole schtick is everywhere now, advertising really ran with this for example

Anyways, I was literally going to talk about that when I realized that I think my Scully is Jack from Will and Grace... not bc I'm anything like him or kno anyone that is but bc he at least seemed happy most of the time

Out of all the queers I can recall on TV from my youth he is the one I'd tell my son to be like, if I had one.

What? Mulder is not a typical alpha male, he is a handsome outsider UFO nerd. Mulder rarely comes out on top in any physical altercations and in his interactions with other law enforcement he does not come off as ‘alpha’ at all.

> he obviously a typical alpha male

You may be the first person in history to describe Mulder that way. :)

> The influence of the Dana Scully character on my generation of girls is known as the Scully Effect. We women who frequently watched The X-Files as teenagers were more than 50% more likely to study a STEM field in college than women who didn’t watch. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.) Nearly two-thirds of women currently working in STEM cited Scully as a major influence on their decision to pursue a STEM career. Two-thirds of women said Scully increased their belief in the importance of STEM, even if they did not pursue careers in a STEM field. Nine in ten women claimed Scully was a positive role model for girls.

But hey, NemoNobody says we can't do that, because it's "bad", and is upvoted best comment on this thread, so...

I do apologize - I do not mean to downplay Scully, rather I don't have Scully and only now realized that. This all got wrapped up in my very recent disappointment with Star Trek and I got caught up with that.

I think the Scully effect has proven quite powerful - with great power come great responsibility. Perhaps, kids don't need their "Scully" to be a character that just checks all the right boxes but actually do benefit quite well from a strong relatable character that doesn't conform so much to society as society conforms to the character - like Scully.

Discovery's diversity is essentially a snapshot of exactly what we think diversity ought to look like in whatever year it was made - it's already feeling dated bc forced sh*t like that never holds up

A Scully tho - remakes the mold. I don't think we'll see a trans character that's breaking any molds from Hollywood rn, for example.

That's all Im saying.

This isn't something new right now. Tokenism is there - and has been decried non-stop - since the 60's.

The problem is not inserting minorities, it's a whole entertainment industry that is still hardly able to make them whole characters despite decades (!) of pointing out the problem.


Out of curiosity, you mentioned in a a parent comment that there wasn't any good examples until recently; what do you think is a recent good example of a gay character in media?

I'm a straight dude, so I'll admit that I might be a little out of touch with some of these things, but I do think that representation is really important, so I'd like to know an example that you think is a positive depiction.

SE Asia has become a bit of a Mecca for Queer content - began as very niche media locally but they began to cater to the global queer audience about 4-5 years ago. Changed my life actually. It took many series before I was comfortable with 2 men kissing on screen but I made myself watch, despite a significant culture shock and it all being very low budget back then. I can now identify which country an Asian person is from bc hundreds of shows have been made by the same 6-7 countries and I'm familiar with their distinctions now - that's how much I've seen

Western Gay media is terrible - Call Me By Your Name is perhaps the only movie I would recommend and Heartstopper the only Series.

Heartstopper was/is an unbelievably big deal tho. It's just a decent teen HS romance about a young couple, dealing with young people stuff, one of those things being that they are both guys and the interesting set of challenges that brings - that was revolutionary, never, ever been done before in the west - I'm still waiting for one to die (how gay Western media pre 2022 ends)

In all seriousness tho - I hope every gay boy in the world is able to see Heartstopper, perhaps the next generation of us will be happier.

I'm sure more info than you asked for but whenever this comes up I try to leave a few breadcrumbs for those that haven't found their way to BL media yet

I'm a man (also from early 80's) and I still identified more with Scully than with Mulder. She was just so cool.

Now I have a daughter and she's all about unicorns, rainbows and princesses and I keep telling her she can be a knight. Or a scientist. Weirdly I think all those Barbie cartoons on Netflix are having a good influence on her, Barbie is strong but fallible, honest, admits her mistakes, works hard to correct them, does not give up. She super privileged though...

I feel like my daughter is getting quite good in social situations because of Barbie (and Lucky from Spirit, and Zoe from The New Adventures of Lassie). In any case, it has a different influence on her than the stuff my son watches, which is (a sigh of relieve) also increasingly involving strong women: Avatar (the last airbender), She-Ra, Carmen San Diego... Strong women... on the Battle Field.

Have you seen Hilda on Netflix? It’s amazing.

My 6 yr olds favorite show, can be a little dark at times

Just got started on it, thanx for the suggestion! (Nice that it’s with Dutch audio here, what a world!)

Yeah the 3rd season really upped the stakes. Kinda makes sense if the target audience grew up alongside the series. But for newcomers, it’ll probably be quite jarring.

She might like Adventure Time (which is also very entertaining for adults). One of the main characters is Princess Bubblegum, a very competant scientist-princess (albeit with some megalomaniacal tendencies).

AT season 6 I think it is - covers more philosophy than my intro to philosophy course at university.

That ending theme song still breaks me everytime I hear it. Such a great show

I was genuinely surprised at how good Fionna and Cake ended up being. When they announced it I thought they were just milking the franchise dry but it ended up being extremely insightful and justified its existence.

I was expecting exactly what you were I think - I was also quite surprised. I almost entirely skipped the episode and instead I ended up thinking I'd actually watch that show, but not at the expense of Finn and Jake.

AT was maybe ahead of its time with that in hindsight

I really liked the ending of the series a lot; I thought the final two episodes tied together the loose ends I cared about and finished on a theme that really highlighted the core messages of the show. To me, it was exactly the ending I wanted for the show. When they announced Distant Lands, I immediately felt annoyed, because I thought "they're going to take a nearly perfect ending and risk ruining it by adding more crap to it??"

Initially I wasn't going to watch Distant Lands because I was afraid it might tarnish the series for me, but eventually I caved and was surprised to find that it a) didn't do anything to ruin the original ending, and b) actually had interesting ideas to share that the show is better for having. I thought Obsidian and Together Again really did a great job continuing the series in such a way that it didn't negate anything I loved about the original show, and posed some more interesting thematic elements about the characters. I don't know if it's Pendleton or someone else in the Cartoon Network staff, but whomever is in charge of Adventure Time really seems to know what they're doing. I get the impression that they will only allow a new thing to be added to the franchise if it has a good reason to exist.

Fionna and Cake did a great job maturing the series a bit, without it being gratuitous. It ended so well that I'm a bit concerned that they renewed it for a second season, but I've been wrong twice before and I'm cautiously optimistic that they'll keep up the quality.

Haha, this happens so infrequently I don't even kno how to reply - I agree with everything you've said and felt exactly the same about distant lands. I thought it was brilliantly done - still AT but not near enough to the story that I don't want changed, even retroactively. They didn't - instead nailed the nostalgia and all the feels

The finale theme song is the one I was meaning earlier, I'll get emotional if I think about it too much. It was all just so well done. That episode demonstrated how far we had come - we all grew up with Finn, he made it. That's the end.

I could write a book about how I feel about this show.

I remember Adam Muto being someone I thought was more heavily involved in the direction of the later seasons than Pendleton - he also leads the Distant Lands project I think.

Brilliant team of people tho - fantastic show!

Little late on this but I watched Stephen Universe with my nephew and I was really impressed with that show - lots of very positive messages and the general feel of the show is quite different from the usual cartoon network show - but still very much a cartoon. I think the snow runner Rebecca Sugar did an excellent job - she was a writer for AT as well.

One of my favorite characters is Stephen's Dad - he literally lives in his van.

I'd recommend watching with your daughter someday for sure


Boys (and girls) follow pro-social behavior for boys (and girls). Pro-social behavior is defined by the cultural and social context. That is, the society defines (and can change) what it "means to be a boy", etc.

When and where I grew up, it was pro-social for boys to abuse others, especially other boys, often of lower social class. I'm glad my kids don't have to have that experience.

Boys (and girls) follow pro-social behavior for boys (and girls)

It seems to me that US culture, especially politically, drives 0 or 1 thought, and those into computers seem to end up there often too.

But it often isn't "one or the other". Outside of individual differences, men and women are different. And, also affected by culture.

It's both you see, both genetics and culture which affects how one acts, behaves.

Take a non-sexual trait, stubbornness. People are born stubborn, others are born with no backbone at all. Obviously, we have a societal norm, an expected degree of backbone / stubbornbess which is an ideal.

If your child is born too stubborn, you will coach them to be less so. And if with no backbone, you will attempt to foster assertiveness, etc. You will try to get your child to be able to navigate society as best as you can.

And this is why there is no fixed way to raise a child. Each child is a unique blend of genes, and thus needs a unique approach. It is also why, in many cases, "not doing what my parents did!", doesn't often jive. The very thing you didn't need, may be what your child does need!

I guess my point is, yes there are genetic differences between men and women. These differences show up in every part of the body, including the brain. And yet, on top of that each child is unique, and needs a tailored upbringing, which is really how you raise a child to fit into current culture.

Of course, our children and great grandkids will think we're dumbasses, will lament the "dumb things" we did, and how we raised them. Just as we do somewhat of our ancestors, and they too back to the dawn of our sentience.

Kinda beautiful, in a way.

I don't disagree with you. Behavior is complex. But, keep in mind that pro-social behavior is genetic behavior. Humans are Apes, but we're a special kind of Ape that has a large PFC that evolved partly to attune us to complex social coordination. Except when we're under stress, have cognitive load, in adverse environments, have developmental disorders, Human's tend toward pro-social behavior, overriding Ape-like behavior. (Also, it's interesting to note that some research suggests that parenting has a low (10-20%) influence on a child's behavior.)

Also, yes, there are general genetic differences between males and females, but we've also determined pretty clearly at this point that there's enough variance at the individual level where generalizations don't work. For instance, I have a niece who was born much larger, stronger, and more aggressive than the other kids. She was always interested in "boy stuff". She even looked more boy-like. It's not helpful when people tell us "boys should be boys. girls should be girls".

Sure, they make their own choices. But if all they (son and daughter) consume are submissive Disney princesses I get … frustrated? I want my daughter to have strong role models. Like Scully.

What are boys and girls anyway? It’s all made up cultural constructs. If anything I want them to be aware of that and know they can choose their own unique path to happiness, while recognizing that right for others as well of course.

"It's all made up cultural constructs" - THIS EXACTLY! Thank you.

It seems to me, that our cultural constructs of gender, long disembodied from the survival necessity that bore them, have been defined in ways that no longer match the way we live.

Perhaps our physical selves and public identity don't need to change at all.

Maybe, instead of all that, we should just redefine the words so that gender is as inclusive an idea as their are aspects of it.

One seems much easier than the other.

"I am not a prize to be won!" - Princess Jasmine (1992).

Just like how James Kirk from ST:TOS has been turned in general perception into this weird womanizer who slept with every green skinned alien babe [1], so is all the "supplementary" cultural material erasing important bits like that, especially when such bits are less "in your face" than (keeping to Disney) Merida from Brave.

[1] the actual horndog of the main crew was McCoy, and Picard was rabble-rouser and notorious flirt in his youth, enough that his replacement heart happened due to bar fight

Maybe you should concern yourself less with how others live their lives

> The influence of the Dana Scully character on my generation of girls is known as the Scully Effect.

The linked PDF is offline; archived version [0] from 2018; created somewhere between 2016-2018.

[0] THE ”SCULLY EFFECT“: I WANT TO BELIEVE…IN STEM https://web.archive.org/web/20180605152837/https://impact.21...

No one ever remembers/points out that in the show, Scully was ALWAYS WRONG. Like, every single time. It was aliens or a monster that did it, guaranteed.

Most of the time she was wrong, but not always. For example, she correctly determined that the "UFO photo" in E.B.E (S01E17) was a fake while Mulder was completely uncritical of it. And she was often right when the cases involved something to do with Catholic theology, but I'm not sure that counts because in those cases, Mulder was the skeptic and she was the believer (as Mulder is agnostic and Scully a devout Catholic).

> And she was often right when the cases involved something to do with Catholic theology, but I'm not sure that counts because in those cases, Mulder was the skeptic and she was the believer (as Mulder is agnostic and Scully a devout Catholic).

And that kind of complexity makes the character interesting, instead of a cardboard scientist trope.

It's a cardboard alien/monster trope.

Flipping the gimmick isn't complexity of character. It's a sly dig at Catholcisi though.

Maybe they only showed you the time that Moulder was right; like maybe 90% of the time it actually wasn’t aliens or ghosts but they just don’t make that into an episode :)

She was skeptical, sure, but Scully and her work were often (usually?) instrumental in solving the case.

They were often both wrong too, or rather "the plot thickened".

My favorite scene in the entire series is when she sits down with the female FBI biologist to discuss the "monkey pee" sample called Purity Control. I think the whole show pivots on that scene and it's fascinating. Your imagination is turned loose and you can't wait to watch the rest of the show.

Even when she was wrong, she was right to be skeptical.

Right, but she didn't have enough evidence and she was at the mercy of the scifi writers.

I was a physics teacher in Australia and the UK from 2015 to 2021. I wrote a comment about teaching in a boys' school yesterday, but most of my career was spent in girls' schools, due partly to the Vogonic culture of the NSW Department of Education and Training.

There were many 'get girls into STEM' initiatives, and they all felt very tokenistic and superficial. They were science-themed, but none of them got at the guts of STEM.

In Australia, physics - in the schools that offer it - is taught by chemistry or biology teachers who've been given a physics textbook. In the private boys' schools, there's a cadre of actual physicists, but they're old men on the verge of retirement; students in government schools, systemic Catholic schools and private girls' schools get a very un-mathematical physics education, if their school offers a specialised physics course at all.

The end result of this is the propagation of a very misleading view of STEM to girls. All the high-paying STEM jobs are in those fields that have a rigorous mathematical formalism - physics, computer science, engineering - but our STEM outreach programs ended up pushing girls towards 'soft science' careers in biology. I understand that there are now so many bio lab workers in the UK that they're now on minimum wage.

If we really want to encourage women and girls to take up high-paying STEM careers, we need to be demonstrating and teaching the cognitive styles that underlie success in mathematics. At the moment, all we're doing is making maths pink[0].

[0] https://skepchick.org/2010/08/smbc-women-in-mathematics/

I understand that in the UK, girls perform better than boys at mathematics, but mostly self-select for biology and medicine and psychology anyway, for obscure reasons.

That first statistic is kind of misleading. Half as many girls as boys do Maths A level (the exam for 18 year olds in the UK). Roughly speaking, you're comparing the best 20% of girls at maths to the best 40% of boys. Of course the girls do better on average. It would be astonishing if they didn't.

But it is true that girls are more likely than boys not to continue with a maths-heavy subject.

Oh, OK. So the boys are relatively overconfident, so more of them fail, but the girls are relatively realistic, so fewer of them try. Then the boys continue being overconfident and get related jobs, but the girls mostly don't. (Or perhaps they just like stats better, there's lots of stats in biosciences.)

I dont think there is any real political imperative to welcome women into science.

STEM is intrinsically difficult and in demand which means it's highly paid and as a result there is a political imperative to drag down wages....somehow.

Bringing more women in probably seems as good a way as any to the old, white, male (and sexist) reactionary politicians and their business leader sponsors.

So, they tried to make science pink shrug

"very tokenistic and superficial" - welcome to 'straya m8.

Can it possibly be true that 60+% (she writes "nearly two-thirds") of women in STEM have this character as an influence? I'm only barely aware of this media property and here in Europe I feel our Media is fairly "American" still, does this show have such a global reach? I found, for instance, that the X-Files movie only had 4.2% of its revenue internationally, so I think its not such a popular property outside the US. How would even 10% of chinese female STEM workers hear of this character?

I believe she is citing the PDF she links, where only an archived version is available right now. It seems to be a US-only study, although I don't see any explanation of where participants were from.

The movies were much less successful than the TV series. The series was definitely hugely popular in Western Europe at least, I can't speak for the whole continent.

Yep, the PDF/study is US-based (and funded by 21st Century Fox lol) " The sample was demographically representative and weighted to be representative of women in the U.S. population based on age (25 and older), STEM involvement, and viewing of The X-Files" https://web.archive.org/web/20180605152837/https://impact.21...

It's not about revenue, but cultural penetration and knowledge.

"Everyone" knew who and what Scully was. She was the doctor/scientist brains of the team, while Mulder just went around investigating crazy stuff.

Same with Star Trek a generation before - a whole generation of scientists and engineers would site Spock and Scotty as inspirations.

“Elizabeth Rubio lives with too many cats in Austin, Texas”

That’s the upshot. Ms. Rubio’s life path is an evolutionary dead end. For her message to perpetuate itself into the future, she needs to create women role models that are smart but also retain femininity and value having a family, and not just try to have them ape men. Muslim [1] and Israeli populations walk this line well

[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/the-more...

Non-paywalled version: https://archive.md/fPlxw


imho. also Samantha "sam" Carter from star-gate "SG1" was a similar (female) role-model in the late 1990ties / early 0es :)

* https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118480/characters/nm0850102?re...


Both X-files and SG1 are running regularly these days as some of the few "science-fiction" properties being broadcast right now by comettv.com

I expect comet to migrate to a few other vintage series' when these have run their course, so watch them while you can.

A few years makes a big difference here I think, given how groundbreaking X-Files was at the time.

Perhaps the character of Sam herself owes a debt to Scully for breaking the "sci-fi scientist glass ceiling" a few years prior?

> We can’t create a reality until we can imagine it.

Nichelle Nichols (1932-2022, Uhura on Star Trek) had a similar impact, bless her sweet soul.

2011-07-10,11: Startalk: Nichelle Nichols. great interview!



Through her ground-breaking role as Star Trek's Chief Communications Officer Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols became a passionate advocate to get women and minorities involved in real-world space exploration. Many were inspired to become astronauts thanks to her efforts, including NASA's current administrator, General Charles Bolden. While she continues working through various endeavors to get young people excited about space, she hopes that the power of Star Trek will inspire us to keep pushing the boundaries of the final frontier.

2011-07-11: StarTalk: A Conversation with Nichelle Nichols

Some might know Nichelle Nichols best from Star Trek, but this actress, singer, dancer and space advocate has much to say beyond her role in TV's exploration of the final frontier. In this exclusive interview, she talks about how science fiction and Star Trek --- and specifically her ground-breaking role as Chief Communications Officer Lt. Uhura --- not only impacted her life, but also had an influence on society over space and time.

Somebody I don’t often see cited as this sort of aspirational role model is Gil Grissom from the original CSI show.

He’s the archetypical nerd — quiet introvert who’s enthusiastic about his little niche to the point even his also-pretty-nerdy colleagues think it’s a bit much. He also rises to the challenge of being a leader and a mentor, and he does so with the tools his personality gives him.

Gil was fantastic - such a great role model in hindsight.

What I always enjoyed about Scully's character was her skeptical approach. She understood that the job of FBI agents is to build a case, to document, and be rigorous. She followed the evidence.

A bit late with this reply but my first interpretation of the Scully effect before reading the content was to think it referred to her habit of repeatedly disregarding inexplicable things with way too much skepticism despite eventually spending years with Mulder, across dozens of cases, where absolutely, completely fucking inexplicable things just kept happening.

I get being skeptical and always insisting on scientific rigor, evidence and documentation with each new case (especially if you're conducting legal investigations) but come on!.

After the Nth time in which Mulder posits a paranormal cause only for Scully to raise her eyebrow as if he were off his rocker, it's really her who becomes just a bit absurd... She just somehow has no adaptability for benefit of the doubt despite the many, many other times her partner was absolutely on the ball in suspecting the weird?

No changed perspective from, oh I don't know, multiple up-close encounters with things like 100-year-old liver-eating, hibernating elastic-man monsters, or human/marine parasite hybrids, or mind-controlling worms, space aliens, ghosts, demonic possession, sentient viruses, psychopathic telepathic killers, time travelers, inter-dimensional beings, witches even! and etc and etc and etc?

When I first saw the headline my thoughts revolved around how the heck can a long past CEO of Apple still be relevant? Ugh...

> The influence of the Dana Scully character on my generation of girls is known as the Scully Effect. We women who frequently watched The X-Files as teenagers were more than 50% more likely to study a STEM field in college than women who didn’t watch.

Good old "correlation is not causation" at play, I suppose: if you're scientifically inclined, you're probably more likely to both watch X-Files and go into a STEM field later on.

Back when CSI at least seemed to be plausible.

I used to really enjoy CSI, I didn't even mind that Miami was quite cheesy, but at some point after they started New York all of them had gotten beyond ridiculous in their depictions of technology and what it was capable of, it was completely fantastical and seemed to lack any kind of basis on reality.

Maybe it was also that I was getting older and having less time, but the CSI series were the first shows that despite watching somewhat religiously, I actually stopped watching in disgust and also feeling a bit angry at how useless the producers and/or screenplay writers had become.

I find it incredibly bizarre, ther scientists, of all professions, are inspired by fantasy story characters. It's so at odds with what science is.

I'm a a scientist and I enjoy sci-fi, but the cause and effect is firmly in the other direction.

I seen a job posting for the FBI that blatantly stated you will work well over 40 hours a week, and all but made clear your job will be your life. So, yeah, it's not a job for someone that wants work/life balance.

This is why representation matters. Regardless of how some parts of the political spectrum hate it now.

There's an amazing story about MLK and Star Trek that's similar.

Nichelle Nichols recalls https://www.startrek.com/news/nichelle-nichols-remembers-dr-...

She wanted to quit. She was a real actor, from a serious theater background and this was going to hurt her career. This all took place at the height of the civil rights movement. Selma, Bloody Sunday, had just happened 2 days earlier.

Verbatim from the story:

That weekend, Nichols attended what she remembers as a NAACP fundraiser, "though, it could have been something else." Whatever it was, she found herself in Beverly Hills, and seated at the dais as other notables entered the room to join in on the festivities.

"One of the organizers of the event came over to me and said, 'Ms. Nichols, I hate to bother you just as you’re sitting down to dinner, but there’s someone here who wants very much to meet you. And he said to tell you that he is your biggest fan,'" Nichols said. "I said, 'Oh, certainly,' I stood up and turned around and who comes walking over towards me from about 10 or 15 feet, smiling that rare smile of his, is Dr. Martin Luther King. I remember saying to myself, 'Whoever that fan is, whoever that Trekkie is, it’ll have to wait because I have to meet Dr. Martin Luther King.' And he walks up to me and says, 'Yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan.' You know I can talk, but all my mouth could do was open and close, open and close; I was so stunned."

Dr. King revealed to Nichols that Star Trek was the only show that he and his wife Coretta allowed their little children to stay up and watch. Further, he told Nichols what the show meant to him personally and detailed the importance of her having created a character with "dignity and knowledge." Nichols took it all in and finally said, “Thank you so much, Dr. King. I’m really going to miss my co-stars.” Dr. King's smile, Nichols recalled, vanished from his face.

"He said, 'What are you talking about?'" the actress explained. "I told him. He said, 'You cannot,' and so help me, this man practically repeated verbatim what Gene said. He said, 'Don’t you see what this man is doing, who has written this? This is the future. He has established us as we should be seen. 300 years from now, we are here. We are marching. And this is the first step. When we see you, we see ourselves, and we see ourselves as intelligent and beautiful and proud.' He goes on and I’m looking at him and my knees are buckling. I said, 'I…, I…' And he said, 'You turn on your television and the news comes on and you see us marching and peaceful, you see the peaceful civil disobedience, and you see the dogs and see the fire hoses, and we all know they cannot destroy us because we are there in the 23rd Century.'"

"That’s all it took," Nichols continued. "I went back on Monday morning and told Gene what had happened. He sat there behind that desk and a tear came down his face, and he looked up at me. I said, 'Gene, if you want me to stay, I will stay. There’s nothing I can do but stay.' He looked at me and said, 'God bless Dr. Martin Luther King. Somebody truly knows what I am trying to do.' [Roddenberry] opened his drawer, took out my resignation and handed it to me. He had torn it to pieces. He handed me the 100 pieces and said, 'Welcome back.'”

King really had a remarkable way with words – even when he was just conversing with a stranger. Hearing him say that “this is the first step. When we see you, we see ourselves, and we see ourselves as intelligent and beautiful and proud” brought tears to my own eyes – and a lump in my throat.

Thanks for posting this anecdote.

I always thought it was odd that Scully was always the one getting clobbered by some psychopath. Kidnapped, beat on many occasions, abducted and impregnated. If they want to be like Scully they are brave.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact