Lord May on science TV dramas

"It would indeed be a very welcome development if the BBC were to stray beyond the usual hospitals and police stations for its prime time dramas, to cover the tremendous excitement and social impact of the work carried out in our scientific laboratories."

- Lord (Robert) May, President of the Royal Society

In 2002, the BBC aired a thriller called Fields of Gold, a fictional tale of mayhem created by genetically modified crops. This would probably not have caused such outrage amongst the pro-GMO axis if it were just a science fiction drama, but the program had an air of authenticity about it that struck a nerve – all the more so because a scientist’s advice had apparently been disregarded in the process of making the film, and there were said to be a number of inaccuracies. In the same article in which Lord May gave the quote above, he also called Fields of Gold a "ludicrous piece of alarmist science fiction". You can read all about this interesting controversy in the following article from the London Times.

Do you have an opinion about this? Should fiction writers be allowed to deviate from the facts without molestation, or do they have a responsibility to society not to inflame particularly sensitive issues? Take a moment to post a comment in our discussion forums.