G. Cormode. Representations of the research student in popular culture. Annals of Improbable Research, 10(1):26-27, 2004.

Attracting new entrants to the world of research relies in part on the existence of role models in the popular media as observed by the current undergraduates. Hence, we examine the world of TV and films that get shown on cable all the time. There is no shortage of visible examples at the professorial level, from Archaeology (Indiana Jones) to Paleontology (Ross from Friends). However, it is a matter of concern that the first stage of an academic career, the research student, is less frequently portrayed. We will consider a number of examples of media portayals of young researchers based on a uniform sample of those I could think of. We analyze whether their depiction will encourage young people to follow their lead into PhD programmes, and also to successfully complete their studies.

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