Questioning Science and Genre: The X-Files as Dangerous Science Fiction

Gil, Steven (2015) Questioning Science and Genre: The X-Files as Dangerous Science Fiction. Thesis Eleven, 131 1: 65-80. doi:10.1177/0725513615613458

Author Gil, Steven
Title Questioning Science and Genre: The X-Files as Dangerous Science Fiction
Journal name Thesis Eleven   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0725-5136
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0725513615613458
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 131
Issue 1
Start page 65
End page 80
Total pages 16
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This article explores the question: is The X-Files dangerous to science fiction (SF) and science? Certainly it is one of the most prominent series that, despite being frequently appended with the SF television label, seems to challenge and sometimes eschew basic conceptualizations of the genre. Furthermore, at the height of its success the series was criticized by scientists such as Richard Dawkins for disseminating and popularizing anti-rational and potentially anti-scientific perspectives. On these grounds, the answer to our question appears to be yes. However, detailed analysis of the series reveals quite a different picture. Firstly, even attempts to distance the series from SF effectively encapsulate reasons for that very labelling. These specifically revolve around the use of the phrase ‘extreme possibilities’. Secondly, far from presenting a simplistic juxtaposition of belief and reason, the series instead involves a dialogic exchange that helps to articulate the role of scientific inquiry in approaching the unknown.
Keyword Popular science
Science and popular culture
Science fiction
The X-Files
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
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Created: Mon, 07 Dec 2015, 23:37:57 EST by Mr Steven John Gil on behalf of School of Communication and Arts