I have to state right up front that I absolutely hate the made up term "competence porn," but this is still an interesting look at how modern science fiction has more or replaced scientists with heroic types. The trend has invaded TV, movies and publishing. Gone are crusty scientists full of wisdom, or even competent technical engineers who fully understand the workings of a spaceship.
In their place are good-looking athletic types who are mostly good at running, jumping and shooting things. It is irritating that the modern science whiz has an average age of around 26 yet still sports a string of degrees and 30 years of on-the-job experience to draw from. Perhaps these days the emphasis is simply more on "fiction" than on "science?"
Presto change-oh...the physicists in Robert Sawyer's "Flashforward" were magically transformed into a team of FBI agents for the TV show. Uh huh, sure, that's believable. Okay, everyone look mean and tough for the camera!