DiscardedYKTTW Evil Scientists Do Lab Work YKTTW Discussion

Evil Scientists Do Lab Work
Scientists whose work involves creating or building things are more likely to be portrayed as evil than purely theoretical scientists.
(permanent link) added: 2011-06-07 10:46:50 sponsor: Rainbow (last reply: 2011-06-11 10:40:26)

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I was thinking about how some forms of science are more likely to be portrayed as evil than others, thinking that chemists really get a bad rap while astronomers are usually portrayed as good or neutral scientists. And then I thought, it seems to be that evil scientists are usually ones who make things or work with actual objects/people/animals. That's not to say that there aren't heroic scientists who do those types of things, as there often are, but I can't think of any evil scientists in fiction who are portrayed as doing merely theoretical work outside of someone whose theories are used to build something or create a substance (as in someone else does the grunt work). This is probably because of both the fear of "playing God" and also simply because a villain who can't do something concrete with his/her research (like creating poisons or machines) is harder to work into a plot unless the science is an incidental part of his/her character (like a villain who happens to like star-gazing). This would also be because exploding, bubbling poisons and doomsday machines are more visually exciting than a villain who does all his/her work on paper. Not to mention star-gazing is probably considered to be a humbling activity rather than something that would make someone do an Evil Laugh out of pride for his/her creations.
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