Are your Genes your Destiny? Genomics and the science of Gattaca

A Sydney Science Festival event for National Science Week

Presented by Sydney Ideas and the Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney in partnership with the Garvan Institute for Medical Research

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Are your genes your destiny? Join us for a free screening discussion of the American science fiction film Gattaca, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Gattaca explores the consequences of genetic selection and manipulation on society through the eyes of genetically less-than-perfect Vincent (Ethan Hawke) and genetically perfect Irene (Uma Thurman).

The film screening will be followed by a spirited discussion between our commentators from the worlds of ethics, science and the creative arts, who will explore how much the film accurately depicts and predicts today’s technological trends.

This event is funded by a National Science Week Grant from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.


  • Dr Catherine Fargher, lecturer in performance in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. She is an AWGIE award-winning script and interactive writer, teacher and new media creative. Her play Dr Egg and the man with no ear is a theatre piece which playfully explores the ethical dilemmas of cloning.
  • Associate Professor Marcel Dinger, Head, Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) at the Garvan Institute. The aims of the Centre are to establish genomic medicine in routine healthcare and to leverage clinical genomic data for research.
  • Dr Jacqueline Savard, (forum MC) Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sydney Health Ethics, School of Public Health at the University of Sydney
  • Other speakers to be announced soon.
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