Oh s-t!

February 23, 1996

Scientists who criticise Hollywood's depiction of epidemics should realise that "witchcraft science" will always dominate the movies, says Christopher Foreman, a political scientist at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.

"A major problem for film-makers is that real infectious diseases kill mostly in rather prosaic ways, such as dehydration or respiratory collapse," he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The problem is that "any movie about a realistic threat such as cholera must fundamentally be a movie about diarrhoea, a most unexotic and potentially uncommercial problem."

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