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Ficta: remixing generalized symbolic media in the new scientific novel

[journal article]

Brier, Søren

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Abstract This article analyzes the use of fictionalization in popular science communication as an answer to changing demands for science communication in the mass media. It concludes that a new genre—Ficta—arose especially with the work of Michael Crichton. The Ficta novel is a fiction novel based on a real scientific problem, often one that can have or already does have serious consequences for our culture or civilization. The Ficta novel is a new way for the entertainment society to reflect on scientific theories, their consequences and meaning. Jurassic Park is chosen for an in-depth analysis in order to bring out the essential characteristics of Ficta, showing how its reflections on complexity, fractals, self-reference, non-linearity and unpredictability in science transform our view of scientific knowledge as being the tool for deterministic control into a second order reflection on complexity and the limits of control and predictability.
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 153-174
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 15 (2006) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)