Author Archives: nerdcamper

Genetic Modification in Science Fiction

Well, the title may be a bit misleading. I’d like to focus on two novels in particular: one, we are reading in this class (Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood) and the other in my Medicine and Literature class (Dawn by Octavia Butler). What’s interesting to me is that both of my classes have converged on […] Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Collaboration in Humanities, Dawn, ethics, Ethics of science, genetic engineering, genetic modification, Octavia Butler, Oryx and Crake, post-apocalyptic world, science, Science Fiction | Comments Off on Genetic Modification in Science Fiction

Yellowface in Cloud Atlas

Sure, Cloud Atlas had an amazing score and tied the 6 storylines together pretty well. Sure, it was innovative to use the same 6 actors/actresses in the roles across the 6 different inter-connected stories. But let’s not skim over the fact that the directors had James Sturgess put on yellowface to become Hae-Joo Chang in […] Continue reading

Posted in blackface, Cloud Atlas, controversy, James Sturgess, Katy Perry, Mickey Rooney, Science Fiction, yellowface | Comments Off on Yellowface in Cloud Atlas

The Lottery (reality) vs The Lottery (fiction)

In this article about the many themes in The Island, the author raises an interesting point of mass media being used as a way to control the masses. In fact, the lottery in the movie is very similar to the lottery in real life. One person is chosen to rise above the rest of the masses, to ascend […] Continue reading

Posted in Films, Government, lottery, Science Fiction, the island | Comments Off on The Lottery (reality) vs The Lottery (fiction)

A World Without Einstein

In the 1997 film, Gattaca, the directors are trying to communicate the dangers of genetic engineering and human-influenced evolution. And while the film is not subtle with its reproach of the implied eugenics movement that is inherent in genetic screening, it really hits its point home with its deleted pre-credits scene. At 8:52 of the […] Continue reading

Posted in art versus science, deleted scenes, Einstein, Ethics of science, Eugenics, evolution, Future, Gattaca, Genetic discrimination, genetic engineering, genetics, human genome project | Comments Off on A World Without Einstein

The Business of Competition

While Craig Venter could be considered a morally repugnant man for some of his actions (using his own DNA in Celera’s research into the human genome, using the government’s decoded DNA in his project, etc), I like to think that he was also a catalytic force in the areas of genetic research. He has a […] Continue reading

Posted in business, competition, Cracking the code, craig venter, genetics, human genome project, NOVA, Science and humanities | Comments Off on The Business of Competition