Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Hollywood Engineers

PostedFebruary 28, 2016

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Anchor Lede: While tonight’s Oscars are putting a spotlight on racial diversity, some professions are also underrepresented in entertainment media.

Randy Atkins: Can you think of an engineer character from movies or TV? Johanna Blakely, at USC’s School of Communication, says research demonstrates that mass media plays a powerful role in shaping perceptions of the world and it would be good to…

Johanna Blakely: ...get some glimpse into the problem-solving, exciting aspects of engineering, which is very invisible in popular culture.

Randy Atkins: Blakely says doctors, lawyers, and forensic experts have had their spotlight and the impacts are clear in college enrollment choices and even jury perceptions.

Johanna Blakely: Encountering even fleeting representations of women as engineers helps make it possible for girls and women to think about the possibility of themselves carrying out that role.

Randy Atkins: And Blakely says such characters can be compelling.

Johanna Blakely: I think, when Hollywood gets the bug, you’ll see tons of engineers on the screen.