Sir Isaac Newton and the Inadvertent Feminist

November 19, 2014 12:19 AM

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When I set out to write my screenplay Newton's Laws of Emotion -- a romantic-comedy take on Sir Isaac Newton's life -- I knew I had an opportunity to portray science differently from the waste of time many of us felt when we were in high school. (Confession no. 2: I never felt that way; I was a science geek and still am.) With my Newton script, I wanted to show that physics -- and the dreaded calculus -- could be fun, cool, and even sexy. And to match intellect and wits with Sir Isaac, the father of modern physics, I needed a romantic interest to stand toe-to-toe with him, a woman who was his intellectual equal. Thus Sophia was born. And with that I had the intimidating responsibility of creating a role model for the many girls out there who want to grow up to become scientists.

Sophia is loosely based on the historical figure Sophia Charlotte, the daughter of a duke and the future queen of Prussia. She was a student of German scientist and philosopher (and co-discoverer of calculus) Gottfried Liebniz. She was also a patron of music and science and was known as a "philosoph...

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