In Boston, Zimmer on viruses and tattoos

Carl Zimmer, a journalist who writes for the NYTimes and others, tooled around Boston and Cambridge this week. First up, the Coolidge Corner Theatre, where Zimmer talked about viruses at a screening of the film "12 Monkeys."


  1. From Internet Movie Database: "12 Monkeys": "In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet." Terry Gilliam directs Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt
  2. From the Coolidge Corner Theatre: "Science on Screen creatively pairs screenings of classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.  Each film is used as a jumping off point for the speaker to reveal current scientific research or technological advances, providing the perfect combination of entertainment and enlightenment -  even for the most science-phobic culture vulture!"
  3. From SlateIs Contagion a public health campaign? I don't think so. The Centers for Disease Control didn't produce it; Hollywood did. It's a movie—but it's a movie for which the creators talked to people who actually deal with viruses and epidemics. And for that, I give them a lot of credit. It's rare to find a movie that tries to show what scientists actually do, rather than putting an actor in a lab coat and having him fight bug-faced aliens. 
  4. Globe Q&A w/ Zimmer:

    Q. Has your research into viruses made you paranoid about them?

    A. I don’t think I’m paranoid. Sometimes I feel very fatalistic. Sometimes you just think oh, gosh, something like the movie “12 Monkeys’’ - you start to think, maybe that could happen. I think that one’s a little extreme, but still, there’s some serious trouble ahead, I’m sure.

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