Science on Screen at the Boe: The Science of Genetics in Gattaca

Science on Screen – The Boedecker Theater
July 8, 2013 at 7 PM

Presentation by Geneticist Dr. Nicole Garneau
Student Video by Earth Explorers
Followed by a screening of Gattaca

Science Lecture: The Science of Genetics in Gattaca

Dr. Nicole Garneau is a curator and the health sciences department chair at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. As a geneticist, she is interested in the way a people’s DNA affects their ability to taste, and therefore their food choices and diet. The data from her research will improve our understanding of how evolution has helped us adapt as a species in order to survive.

Prior to the screening of Gattaca, Dr. Garneau will discuss the science of genetics behind the theme of the film, including advancements in DNA technologies. She says, “The two questions at hand in Gattaca are whether it is possible to instantly identify someone from a drop of blood, and whether their DNA can be used to 'predict' success.” Dr. Garneau will also discuss her work with students who participated in the Earth Explorers program at Trail Ridge Middle School. The mission of Earth Explorers is to open doors to science and engineering careers by educating and mentoring underrepresented youth, using video and new media technology to connect these young people to deep networks of community resources. The student film, Attack of the Blue Tongued Zombies, takes you to the Genetics of Taste lab at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. There, protagonist Sam seeks out the lab to learn more about genetics and to take part in the research study that just might turn him into a zombie!

Film Screening: Gattaca

Set in a future when one's life is determined by genetic engineering rather than education or experience, Gattaca explores concerns over reproductive technologies which facilitate eugenics, and the possible consequences of such technological developments for society. The wealthy can choose the genetic makeup of their descendants. People are designed to fit into whatever role is decided before birth. But what happens when someone desires another way of life? Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has several defects, but he dreams of a journey into space as a Gattaca Corp. navigator. To accomplish his goal, he makes contact with Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), who was paralyzed in an accident and is willing to sell his superior genetic materials.

View the trailer and buy tickets

Future Science on Screen Events

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 27, 2013 to July 8, 2013