Doctor Strange’s science consultant talks about consciousness and the multiverse

Why does Doctor Strange need a science consultant?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t exactly known for its scientific accuracy, and with his psychedelic, magic powers, the character of Doctor Strange (created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, and played in the film by Benedict Cumberbatch) goes even further into fantasy. Nonetheless, astrophysicist Adam Frank served as science consultant on the movie (due for release on November 4), and he told us about what his job actually involved.

“The reason I think I was asked to come in is that I’m a scientist, but I had a long interest in human spirituality,” Frank said. “That’s how I know the director [Scott Derrickson], and the director asked me to sort of talk about the ways you could pull these together. And what I suggested was that really it’s about mind and matter. The big open frontier in science is the nature of consciousness. We don’t really have a science of consciousness.”

Frank also said he helped the filmmakers developer their idea of a multiverse.

“I think the movie does a beautiful representation of that idea,” he said — even though he’s not convinced that the multiverse exists in real life.