From the BBC:
When Sherlock Holmes told Watson it was elementary, it really was – by modern sleuthing standards.
Today’s crime fiction and thriller writers, on the other hand, face a minefield of science and technology that is often essential to the plot – but hard to describe accurately.
Now, the Washington Academy of Sciences (WAS), established in 1898 by Alexander Graham Bell, has introduced a seal of approval for books with the scientific facts straight. Unlike most peer-review processes, this one is open to mystery writers.
. . . .
WAS President Jim Cole says many people encounter science through fiction and TV shows such as CSI, which can give the impression that technology can solve any crime.
“Science as it’s generally perceived by the public is not necessarily correct science,” he says.
“With self-publishing on the internet, I think this is going to be a huge issue in the future – about what’s real and what’s not real.”
Most successful authors realise the importance of thorough research. They also write about what they know – or quickly make contact with people who can offer expertise.
“I worry constantly about getting it wrong,” says New York Times bestselling author John Gilstrap.
. . . .
Scientists often disagree over real science. What happens when they cannot agree about the science and technology they read in fiction?
Ms Kay of WAS says the academy has been asked to approve a memoir by a well-known and highly respected neuroscientist.
“He practically invented neuroscience,” she says. “We’re not quite sure what to do about this, because if a reviewer comes back and says that on page 356 there’s a mistake in the science, and he says no there isn’t… what do we do?”
Four seals of approval have been conferred since the the group began offering the award in June. A fifth manuscript is currently under review.
Link to the rest at BBC and thanks to Randall for the tip.