Journal of Science & Popular Culture 1.1 is out now!

Intellect is delighted to announce that the inaugural issue of the Journal of Science & Popular Culture is now available.

Science permeates contemporary culture at multiple levels, from the technology in our daily lives to our dreams of other worlds in fiction. The Journal of Science & Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed academic publication that seeks to explore the complex and evolving connections between science and global society.

To celebrate its release JSPC 1.1 has been made available free to download. Please click here to access this issue.  

Articles within this issue include (partial list):

Reality bytes: American and global culture in the era of infoglut

Authors: Peter Swirski

Page Start: 13

In the age of environmental catastrophes, political upheavals and economic meltdowns a mere informational crisis may not sound too worrisome. But even as we try not to lose too much sleep over it, our behaviour is best modelled by the proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand. My contention is that we better start losing sleep over it. Informationally we live in the era of Cliffpocalypsemageddonacaust, with the toxic consequences it has on the entire system of generating and disseminating knowledge, no matter which side of the Two Cultures divide you hail from. My goal is to spell out some of these consequences, although with little expectation of kindling a retrenchment, let alone reform. This is because, if anything I say below is true, in all likelihood it is too late for that.

It’s alive in the laboratory of the mind: Frankenstein, thought experiment and facing the future of science

Authors: Steven Gil

Page Start: 27

Science fiction splices actuality, eventuality and imagination into creations that provide novel and sometimes highly influential perspectives on science and society. One of the greatest examples of this is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – the infamous tale of a man who literally splices dead flesh into a new form and bestows this creation with life. By examining Frankenstein as a thought experiment, this article demonstrates how science fiction can become a commentary on scientific activity, give insight about where science might lead, and provide a resource for discussing and framing new science.

Pathogens, vermin and strigoi: Contagion science and vampire myth in Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain

Authors: Julia Echeverría

Page Start: 43

The first season of Guillermo del Toro’s television series, The Strain (2014–present) ingeniously merges the classical Bram Stoker vampire legend with the virus outbreak narrative by means of familiar contagion imagery and clichés that include the premise of an infected airplane and the running-against-the-clock efforts of the CDC protagonist, Dr Goodweather. The series offers three complementary perspectives that broaden the scope of vampirism: the medical vision of the protagonist, who insists on treating the outbreak as if it were an infectious disease; the pest exterminator Vasily who refers to these beings as vermin and rat-people; and the mythical vampire approach of a Jewish Holocaust survivor who brands them strigoi. This article argues that the epidemiological perspective introduced by del Toro provides verisimilitude to the vampire myth while at the same time introducing contemporary discourses of virality and adding dichotomies of purity and corruption. By exploring the use of the genre’s conventions in del Toro’s imaginative universe, it intends to prove how a television series can be the ideal medium for unfolding epidemic narratives.

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