When it comes to mainstream depictions of female scientists, the 1990s was a watershed moment in TV and film, spearheaded by the iconic Dr. Dana Scully of The X-Files. While Dana Scully was not the only female scientist to take to the small screen (or the big screen) during that time, her legacy in popular culture remains unparalleled. Since her debut in 1993, she has been widely cited as an inspiration to many real-life women now working in STEM fields – a phenomenon formally known as “The Scully Effect.”
Since that time, portrayals of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) have radically expanded in mainstream TV and film. So, we at Latitude decided to take a closer look at some of the most iconic ones, to better understand what makes these characters compelling to audiences.