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Dr. David A. Kirby


Dr. David A. Kirby was an evolutionary geneticist whose work appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scien­ces before leaving bench science to become Senior Lecturer in Science Communication Studies at the University of Manchester. His experiences as a member of the scientific community have informed his internationally recognized studies into the interac­tions between science, media, and cultural meanings. Several of his publications address the relationship between cinema, genet­ics and biotechnology including essays in New Literary History, Literature and Medicine, and Science Fiction Studies.


He has also studied the production of forensic television dramas to examine science’s function in storytelling with an essay in Stu­dies in the History and Philosophy of Science. He has explor­ed the collaboration between scientists and the entertain­ment in­dus­try and has publications in Social Studies of Science and Public Understanding of Science on this topic. His book Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists and Cinema demon­strates scientists’ impact on the culturally powerful medium of cinema and how these texts have subsequently affected real world science and technology. Since its release, the book has received positive reviews in over 50 media outlets and scholarly journals including Nature, Science, Film Comment, Times Liter­ary Supplement, Times Higher Education, and BBC Focus Ma­ga­zine. The book was named one of Physics World magazine’s top 10 best popular-physics books of 2011.


He received an Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust to analyse the interactions among the biosciences, religion and entertainment media. He is currently writing a book titled Inde­cent Science: Religion, Science and Movie Censorship, which will explore how movies served as a battleground over science’s role in influencing morality.