“I canna’ change the laws of physics”: Depictions of Science in Popular Culture

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
PopCRN - the Popular Culture Research Network
contact email: 

“I canna’ change the laws of physics”: Depictions of Science in Popular Culture

PopCRN (the Popular Culture Network) is back with a free virtual symposium exploring science in popular culture. To be held online on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th of October 2024.

Science is arguably our era’s magic, and popular culture allows us to examine the scientific world in ways that can be fantastical, questionable, shocking, or realistic. Science can inform stories, create worlds, set boundaries or expand them. Science appears throughout popular culture, from nature documentaries to dystopian worlds. This conference aims to bring together current research from across the academic disciplines and beyond to reveal the complex relationship popular culture has with science.

Keynote Speaker

Huw Nolan

We welcome papers from researchers across the academic spectrum and encourage papers from postgraduate researchers and early career researchers. Papers from this conference will have the opportunity to be published.

To whet your appetite, we have provided some topics below. We will also accept topics beyond this scope:

  • In just seven days, I can make you a man – Conceptualisations of gender in science
  • It’s Alive! – Scientific beings in popular culture
  • Don’t Look Up! – Avoidance of scientific facts and reality in popular culture
  • This is a story of our changing planet, and what we can do to help it thrive… ­- Nature, climate and popular culture
  • I’m just here for the gasoline – The everyday scientific realities in popular culture
  • Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should –  Questioning scientific ethics in popular culture
  • This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it – the primacy of science
  • I want more life –  Imaginings of mortal enhancement
  • Fantastic beasts and where to find them – the enduring popularity of the nature documentary
  • Death to the machines –  the dystopian threat of scientific advancements
  • I know kung fu – Using science to extend human capabilities
  • Compared to the breadth of knowledge yet to be known, what does your life actually matter? ­– the individual negotiating science
  • Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. – the scientific imagination in popular culture

Please email abstracts (200 words) to popcrn@une.edu.au by 31st July 2024. Please include your name, affiliation, email address, title of paper, orcid ID (where available), google scholar link (where available) and a short biography (100 words). Registration is free.