Science Film Series at the Boe: "Contagion" & Fighting Infectious Disease

Science on Screen – The Boedecker Theater

June 17, 2013 at 7 PM

Presentation by Infectious Disease Specialist - Dr. Charles Steinberg

Followed by a screening of Contagion


Science Lecture: Fighting Infectious Disease

Dr. Charles Steinberg is a primary care family physician specializing in HIV/AIDS. Working in the HIV field has led him to extensively study epidemiology. He and his wife started Boulder's first wholistic clinic, "Wellspring, Partners in Health," in 1981 and by 1983 he began seeing his gay patients with a new disorder.  By 1985 his practice was almost exclusively for people living with HIV/AIDS and he became Boulder's expert in the field.  For the last 9 years he has been working internationally in HIV/AIDS care.  He has helped set up HIV clinics and provided care in Uganda and worked training doctors and nurses about HIV/AIDS in many resource limited settings.  

Dr. Steinberg will discuss his experiences with the fight against AIDS, including how epidemiology helped early on when there was little other science to go on and how to be safe in the fight against an infectious disease.  His close study of the epidemiology of HIV steered the second part of his AIDS career to Africa and other parts of the underserved over-infected areas. He will also reflect on the complete realism of the film Contagion, and the emergence of new infections including the new flu in China and a new coronovirus in the Middle East. When thinking about a world pandemic, we should ask “When?” not “If?” 

Film Screening: Contagion

Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. Director Steven Soderbergh said in interviews that he aimed for scientific and medical realism in the film. Producers and writers consulted with a number of leading virologists and shot some scenes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. In a Mediscape review of the film, Dr Paul Offit says, “The movie is quite accurate as it portrays how society breaks down in the face of potentially millions of deaths caused by limited vaccine and limited food supplies. It's really well done.”

View the trailer at

Future Science on Screen Events

Gattaca  with lecture by geneticist Dr Nicole Garneau – July 8

Day After Tomorrow with lecture by scientists Julienne Strove and Ted Scambos from  the National Snow & Ice Data Center – August 19

Adam with lecture by autism expert Dr. Debby Hamilton – September 16

Meteor with lecture by former astronaut Rusty Schweickart – October 14

Will this event be webcast to the public by NCAR|UCAR?: 
Announcement Timing: 
June 14, 2013 to June 17, 2013