Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A missed creative science opportunity?

Either Science or Nature (I can't find the item now) had a blurb noting that a Chilean observatory will play a prominent role in an upcoming James Bond movie -- the hideout of the villain (original press release here). A bit later in the item it is mentioned that the observatory will basically be simply compensated for its costs.

Given the state of public science funding, it's too bad they didn't extort something more. This isn't somebody's production-costs-charged-to-my-personal-Visa indie film, but 007 himself. Budget never seems to matter much in those films, so why not extract a bit of cash?

The movie is at least titled 'Quantum of Solace', so maybe that's some science there. If the observatory could have held out a bit longer, perhaps they could have gotten something better. Imagine, for instance, the effect on interesting young males in science if Bond's love interest was an astronomer, with a requisite seduction scene taking place around a telescope! Imagine the classic Bondian double entendre opportunities!

Ah well, perhaps it's just jealousy. Nobody builds funky buildings for biologists in stunningly scenic locations (the Salk Institute perhaps excepted). Q's gadgets haven't yet involved synthetic biology (I suppose it doesn't film well) -- alas, no devices made from codons.

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