The New Formula For Cool
Science, Technology, and the Popular in the American Imagination
»Our society has undergone a paradigm shift. In the information age, you and I are the alpha males,« Dr Leonard Hofstadter, experimental physicist and protagonist of the hit sitcom »The Big Bang Theory«, assures himself and his fellow scientists. The success of this and similar formats in American popular culture proves his point: Science has finally discovered the formula for cool.
This interdisciplinary study examines how »cool«, a key aesthetic and affective category in the American imagination, informs contemporary representations of technoscience. Analyzing selected audiovisual productions, Judith Kohlenberger sheds light on current processes of interaction between science and popular culture, two pivotal sources for change in post-industrial America.