We showed The Dark Gene (2016), by Miriam Jakobs and Gerhard Schick. The film follows the journey of Frank Schauber, a doctor whose search for the origins of his own depression leads him into the realm of his genes. His progression and interrogations cast light on the fundamental changes facing modern society as a result of the tremendous progress being made in the field of genetic sequencing. And something that maybe sounds abstract soon turns out to raise some of the most fundamental questions: how much do we know about ourselves? And how much do we even want to know?
The screening was followed by a panel discussion to reflect on issues raised by the film on genomic data and its uses. Our phenomenal panellists included:
Dr Anna Battaglia (Senior Lecturer at King’s College London). Dr Battaglia’s research interests range from chronic pain to Autism and Mental Health. She’s interested on how nature and nurture interact to influence mental health.
Dr Emily Grossman (Science Broadcaster). With a PhD in Cancer research, Dr Grossman is an expert in molecular biology and genetics. You may have seen her on Sky1’s Duck Quacks Don’t Echo and Discovery Channel’s How Do They Do It?
Thank you to everyone who attended (I know the subtitles were hard to see, so we shall mitigate that issue in the future)! But hopefully you will consider the complexities of genetic research and its future in our society, both good and bad.