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Set in 2019, Ridley Scott’s legendary adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? gave us a startling vision of a noir-ishly dystopic future, in which the line between human and non-human has worn perilously thin. Before the film, science journalist and Soonish podcast host Wade Roush will discuss the importance of dystopias in science fiction, and which parts of the film's vision of our relationship with technology resonate most clearly in the actual year 2019.
Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a retired cop in Los Angeles circa 2019. L.A. has become a pan-cultural dystopia of corporate advertising, pollution, and flying automobiles, as well as replicants, human-like androids with short life spans built by the Tyrell Corporation for use in dangerous off-world colonization. Deckard's former job in the police department was as a talented blade runner, a euphemism for detectives who hunt down and assassinate rogue replicants.
Called before his one-time superior (M. Emmett Walsh), Deckard is forced back into active duty. A quartet of replicants led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) has escaped and is headed to Earth, killing several humans in the process.
With Science on Screen, the Coolidge Corner Theatre creatively pairs a feature film or documentary with lively presentations by notable figures from the world of science, medicine, and technology. The Science on Screen series is co-presented by the Museum of Science, Boston and supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, with additional support from Gesmer, Updegrove LLP, and Richard Anders.
View other presentations in the Science on Screen Series.
Coolidge Corner Theatre
Recommended for: Grades 10 – 12 and adults
Presented by the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation in association with the Museum of Science.
Wade Roush is the producer and host of Soonish, an independent podcast about the future: how we think about it, what we can do to shape it, and why our best forecasts — and our worst fears — are usually wrong. From 2014 to 2016 Wade was acting director of MIT’s Knight Science Journalism fellowship program and lead developer of a proposed science communication initiative for MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. From 2007 to 2014 he was chief correspondent, Boston editor, San Francisco editor, columnist, and editor-at-large at Xconomy, an online news network covering high-tech innovation. From 2001 to 2006 he was senior editor and San Francisco bureau chief at MIT Technology Review. In earlier posts he served as the Boston bureau reporter for Science, managing editor of supercomputing publications at NASA Ames Research Center, and web editor at ebook technology startup NuvoMedia.
He has a BA in history and science from Harvard College (1989) and a PhD in the history and social study of science and technology from MIT (1994). He publishes at soonishpodcast.org, blogs at waderoush.com, and tweets from @soonishpodcast and @wroush.
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