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Scienfeld: A preliminary look at representations of science in Seinfeld

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Seinfeld episodes were made available for streaming on Amazon Prime for the first time in 2017. The sitcom from the 1990s remains popular and relevant today, and yet no one has analysed how it portrays science. This article begins that analysis by investigating how Seinfeld represents science. A surprisingly large number of nuanced references to science and scientific expertise appear across the series. Seinfeld did not shy away from including science and even scientific jargon into its narratives, some of which revolve around a scientific topic. Seinfeld presents a rich source for studying science in popular culture, one that has so far been neglected but that merits study due to its continuing fame and the popular influence of the series.

Keywords: Seinfeld; comedy; humour; media; science; sitcom; stand-up; television

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MIT

Publication date: March 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Working with a distinguished international board, the Journal of Science & Popular Culture aims to create a unique forum in which to analyse, chronicle, and interpret this diverse landscape through original research articles, editorials, book and new media reviews, notes and essays. The journal also provides a site where emerging and established scholars can access salient knowledge and cutting-edge research. Contributions from academics, scientists, communicators, industry professionals, and practitioners with an interest in the science and society interface are invited. Any scholarly approaches or disciplines may be used and the Journal of Science & Popular Culture strongly reinforces interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, opening up new possibilities for inquiry across and between the humanities and sciences.

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