Thursday, April 7, 2011


Today's class is on the film GATTACA, a sci-fi film about genetic manipulation and social and cultural inequality that results from genetics.  It has a very Francis Galton feel to it in my mind, a kind of cautionary tale against social darwinism.  My standard approach is to show the film and discuss it in relation to class readings (or as an illustration of them).  Today I am going to try a different tack.  Instead of discussing the film, I am going to have the students re-imagine the world of GATTACA and in doing so, they will be allowed to change 3 things about how the fictional world works.  Based on those changes in assumptions, they will re-write the ending to the film and describe how they see our potential future unfolding.

Here is the assignment as written:

A mysterious man appears before you and hands you a copy of the movie GATTACA and tells you that this is not a fictional film, but that he is a time traveler and it is a documentary from the future.  He tells you that a small band of renegade In Valids from the future have determined that the future of humankind can be changed by you and you alone.
In order to succeed you must take a page from Asimov’s book, but instead of the Three Laws of Robotics, you must write the Three Laws of Genetics.
What will they be and how will they prevent the kind of world that is the setting for GATTACA?

1 comment:

  1. You're teasing us. Do what did your student come up with? How did the experiment go?