Are science-based films, TV shows accurate?

Or do they play fast and loose with facts, images and nuances that forge public perceptions about science and help shape young people's career decisions?

Producers and writers for some of TV's most popular medical, crime, science and science fiction shows today said they do strive for accuracy and ask more scientists to lend a hand in helping accurately portray science.

Donna Nelson, who organised the programme 'Hollywood Chemistry' with Nancy B. Jackson, president of American Chemical Society (ACS), said Hollywood needs more scientists to volunteer to vet the scientific accuracy of scripts.

Nelson is a chemist adviser for the six-time Emmy Award-winning AMC Channel show "Breaking Bad", according to an ACS statement.

"It's really important for scientists to work with television and movie producers and writers so that when people watch science-based shows and films, they are getting accurate information," Nelson said.

"For example, the credits at the start of 'Breaking Bad' feature symbols of chemical elements from the periodic table. The symbols 'Br' and 'Ba' are for the elements bromine and barium as in 'Breaking Bad'," he added.

These findings were presented at 'Hollywood Chemistry', held as part of the  ACS's national meeting and exposition. The year 2011 is also the International Year of Chemistry (IYC).

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