Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The New Eugenics in Cinema: Genetic Determinism and Gene Therapy in "GATTACA"

David A. Kirby
Science Fiction Studies
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Jul., 2000), pp. 193-215
Published by: SF-TH Inc
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4240876
Page Count: 23
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The New Eugenics in Cinema: Genetic Determinism and Gene Therapy in "GATTACA"
Preview not available

Abstract

The direct manipulation of human genes, or gene therapy, represents one of the major bioethical issues facing society as it heads into the twenty-first century. The 1997 sf film "GATTACA" projects, from today's limited use of gene therapy, a fictional world where genetic manipulation of humans is encouraged. Essentially, the filmmakers act as bioethicists, forecasting the consequences of unrestricted human-gene therapy. The construction of "GATTACA" as a bioethical text centers around three prominent issues: 1) genetic discrimination, 2) the cultural implications of predictive genetics, and 3) the loss of human diversity. The film is unique in that it does not fault the technology itself, but rather questions societal acceptance of an ideology that holds that humans are nothing more than the sum of their genes (genetic determinism). In the language of Bruno Latour, genetic determinism becomes a closed "black box" once it is taken for granted and accepted as accurate and useful. In essence, "GATTACA" is a film that tries to break open the black box that has been constructed by scientists who portray a world dominated by genes. The genetics-research community's negative reaction to "GATTACA" indicates the stake that human geneticists have in the depiction of their science in popular culture.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
193
    193
  • Thumbnail: Page 
194
    194
  • Thumbnail: Page 
195
    195
  • Thumbnail: Page 
196
    196
  • Thumbnail: Page 
197
    197
  • Thumbnail: Page 
198
    198
  • Thumbnail: Page 
199
    199
  • Thumbnail: Page 
200
    200
  • Thumbnail: Page 
201
    201
  • Thumbnail: Page 
202
    202
  • Thumbnail: Page 
203
    203
  • Thumbnail: Page 
204
    204
  • Thumbnail: Page 
205
    205
  • Thumbnail: Page 
206
    206
  • Thumbnail: Page 
207
    207
  • Thumbnail: Page 
208
    208
  • Thumbnail: Page 
209
    209
  • Thumbnail: Page 
210
    210
  • Thumbnail: Page 
211
    211
  • Thumbnail: Page 
212
    212
  • Thumbnail: Page 
213
    213
  • Thumbnail: Page 
214
    214
  • Thumbnail: Page 
215
    215