2022 National Evening of Science on Screen Announced

23 film organizations from California to Massachusetts feature science speakers at movie screenings on March 22.

By: Mar. 16, 2022
2022 National Evening of Science on Screen Announced

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Coolidge Corner Theatre have announced the 2022 National Evening of Science on Screen®, coming to cinemas across the nation on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. That evening, participating organizations will use one of the nation's favorite pastimes-going to the movies-to promote public understanding of science.

To date, 23 Science on Screen grantees in 16 states, all art-house cinemas or museums with film programs, have confirmed participation in this event. The National Evening of Science on Screen is the annual showcase event of the nationwide Science on Screen grant initiative, which is funded by the Sloan Foundation and administered by the Coolidge. Over the past decade, Sloan has awarded the Coolidge over $4 million to develop and administer Science on Screen programs around the US through partnerships with other nonprofits. The Coolidge has in turn awarded 313 grants totaling over $2.5 million to 101 independent cinemas and/or museums in 42 states.

A full listing of events can be viewed at: https://scienceonscreen.org/national-evening/2022-national-evening-of-science-on-screen

"We're delighted to partner with the Coolidge Corner Theatre in celebrating the 9th National Evening of Science on Screen across America, especially in a year where incredible scientific advancement in vaccine development and COVID-19 treatment has allowed us to begin to return, gingerly, to indoor cinema," said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "These events, which pair expert speakers with popular titles such as Sloan-winning films Hidden Figures, Don't Look Up and After Yang, demonstrate that science can illuminate films just as films can illuminate science. We're especially proud that theaters are selecting recent Sloan-supported documentaries Coded Bias, Picture a Scientist, and How to Survive a Pandemic and bringing attention to urgent contemporary issues."

Science on Screen grantee theaters run three or more Science on Screen events per year, creatively pairing screenings of classic, cult, science fiction, and documentary films with presentations by notable experts from the world of science and technology. Each film serves as a jumping-off point for the speaker to introduce current research or technological advances in a way that engages general audiences. The grant is funded by the Sloan Foundation's Program for Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics and administered by the Coolidge Corner Theatre, the celebrated Massachusetts art-house cinema that launched the Science on Screen format in 2005.

The 23 cinemas participating in the 2022 National Evening of Science on Screen to date are:

a-? Amherst Cinema, Amherst, Mass.

a-? Arena Theater, Point Arena, Calif.

a-? Art House Cinema, Billings, Mont.

a-? Athens Ciné, Athens, Ga.

a-? Austin Film Society, Austin, Texas

a-? Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, Tenn.

a-? Byrd Theatre, Richmond, Va.

a-? California Film Institute, San Rafael, Calif.

a-? Cameo Cinema, St. Helena, Calif.

a-? Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, Mass.

a-? Coral Gables Art Cinema, Coral Gables, Fla.

a-? Enzian Theater, Maitland, Fla.

a-? FilmScene, Iowa City, Iowa

a-? Frida Cinema, Santa Ana, Calif.

a-? Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, Ill.

a-? The Grand Cinema, Tacoma, Wash.

a-? Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, Ind.

a-? Martha's Vineyard Film Society, Vineyard Haven, Mass.

a-? Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, Mich.

a-? Real Art Ways, Hartford, Conn.

a-? Rosendale Theatre Collective, Rosendale, N.Y.

a-? Salina Art Center, Salina, Kan.

a-? Willcox Theater and Arts, Willcox, Ariz.

For more information about the Science on Screen grant initiative, visit the Science on Screen website at scienceonscreen.org.



Showtimes vary; for a complete list, please visit:


Separating fact from fiction around Adaptation's ghost orchid

Amherst Cinema • Amherst, MA amherstcinema.org

Charlie Kaufman's screenplay for Adaptation takes ample liberty in adapting Susan Orlean's non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, creating wild fictions-both biographical and botanical. Plant scientist and Smith College Prof. Tim Johnson, who studied the real ghost orchid in Florida, sets the record straight about the flowers that play such a central role in the film.

Adaptation. (2002) - Director Spike Jonze delivers a stunningly original comedy that seamlessly blends fictional characters and situations with the lives of real people: obsessive orchid hunter John Laroche (Chris Cooper in an Oscar-winning role), New Yorker journalist Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), Hollywood screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage), and his twin brother, Donald (also Cage).

Effectively responding to environmental crisis

Arena Theater • Point Arena, CA arenatheater.org

In what ways do scientists, the media, and politicians make it more difficult to effectively communicate about and respond to an environmental crisis? Dr. Art Sussman's presentation and associated audience discussion compares the problems highlighted in the movie's fictional crisis with our global climate change crisis. And why is this so hard to do well?

Don't Look Up (2021) - Two low-level astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.

Online crime solving

Art House Cinema & Pub • Billings, MT arthousebillings.com

Join us for this special Science on Screen® film with a guest speaker from the Billings Police Department that can break down the realism and exaggerations the film employs in crime solving.

Searching (2018) - In this thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens, the desperate father (John Cho) of a missing 16-year-old girl breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

Don't trifle with truffles!

Athens Ciné • Athens, GA athenscine.com

Film director Gregory Kershaw joins a special science-centric video chat on the science of conservation.

The Truffle Hunters (2021) - Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years old, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle-which to date has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation.

Ways to treat addiction

Austin Film Society • Austin, TX austinfilm.org

For this screening we will be joined by medical and natural health experts for a special panel about the issues raised in the film.

Dope is Death (2020) - In the 1970s, as drug addiction ravaged New York City, an extraordinary joint venture between the Black Panthers and Young Lords brought acupuncture detoxification to community clinics, under the leadership of Dr. Mutulu Shakur-Tupac Shakur's stepfather. This new doc examines the legacy of this program.

The fate of food In a bigger, hotter, smarter world

Belcourt Theatre • Nashville, TN belcourt.org

Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world's population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. How will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades? Amanda Little, an award-winning journalist and professor, tells the story of old and radically new approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale.

Soylent Green (1973) - With the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective (Charlton Heston) investigates the murder of a CEO with ties to the world's main food supply.

Today's technology from yesterday's science fiction

Byrd Theatre • Richmond, VA byrdtheatre.org

Join Dr. Robin Ashworth in exploring the world of technology that came straight from the silver screen. Tri-corders, Communicators, Phasers, Warp drive and more.

Star Trek (2009) - The brash James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) tries to live up to his father's legacy with Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.

How sex changes the world through evolution, genetics and love

California Film Institute/Smith Rafael Film Center • San Rafael, CA cafilm.org

Science writer Emily Willingham discusses animal sex, the Darwin's fertile family, and how the film captures (or perhaps fails to capture) Evolution's mighty creative power to produce Earth's "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful."

Creation (2009) - Torn between faith and science, and suffering hallucinations, English naturalist Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) struggles to complete 'On the Origin of Species' and maintain his relationship with his wife (Jennifer Connelly).

Linguistic prejudice and dialect discrimination

Coolidge Corner Theatre • Brookline, MA coolidge.org

Before the film, MIT Linguistics Professor Michel DeGraff will explore the effects of linguistic prejudice and dialect discrimination.

Sorry to Bother You (2018) - In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, California, Lakeith Stanfield plays telemarketer Cassius Green, whose fortunes improve when he adopts a "white voice". Shortly thereafter, he falls under the spell of Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), a cocaine-snorting CEO who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams. Cassius must decide whether financial success is worth sacrificing both his ideals and the love of his life, his free-thinking, anti-capitalist girlfriend, Detroit (Tessa Thompson).

Sound and silence: The adaptive power of the brain

Cameo Cinema • St. Helena, CA cameocinema.com

A journey deep into sound and silence as we explore the adaptive power of the brain and the impact technological advances can have on individuals with hearing loss. Featuring Melanie Gilbert, a cochlear implant research audiologist in the Music and Sound Perception Lab at UCSF.

CODA (2021) - To foil a terrorist plot, an FBI agent (John Travolta) undergoes facial transplant surgery to assume the identity of the criminal mastermind (Nicolas Cage) who murdered his only son, but the criminal wakes up prematurely and seeks revenge.

Women in STEM

Coral Gables Art Cinema • Coral Gables, FL gablescinema.com

A special conversation with notable women in STEM, including Shirley Auxais

Chief Training Officer, RTJ Group Training Testing and Job Center; Cynthia Lebron, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies; and Lynn Sargent, Research Assistant and PhD Candidate.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) - This documentary reveals the Hedy Lamarr hidden behind the famously beautiful Hollywood star's glamorous image: a technological trailblazer whose inventions form the basis of modern WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth systems.

The science (and art) of facial reconstruction

Enzian Theater • Maitland, FL enzian.org

Discover the real-life science behind Face/Off with reconstructive surgeon Dr. Marguerite Barnett.

Face/Off (1997) - To foil a terrorist plot, an FBI agent (John Travolta) undergoes facial transplant surgery to assume the identity of the criminal mastermind (Nicolas Cage) who murdered his only son, but the criminal wakes up prematurely and seeks revenge.

The Future is Now: Climate change and the international water crisis

FilmScene • Iowa City, IA icfilmscene.org

Featuring a pre-film presentation by Eric Tate, Associate Professor of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at University of Iowa; Mazahir Salih, Executive Director, Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa; and Stratis Giannakouros, Director of the UI Office of Sustainability.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - During the water wars of the post-apocalyptic future, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a band of survivors fleeing across the Wasteland in a war rig driven by the elite Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) escaping a Citadel tyrannized by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), from whom something irreplaceable has been taken.

Beyond the blue and pink: Gender division in toys

Frida Cinema • Santa Ana, CA thefridacinema.org

Sociologist Dr. Elizabeth Sweet discusses changes in the gender marketing and stereotyping of children's toys over time to understand how gendered toys relate to larger issues of gender inequality.

Small Soldiers (1998) - When missile technology is used to enhance toy action figures, the toys soon begin to take their battle programming too seriously.

The big one: Meteors and Melancholia

Gene Siskel Film Center • Chicago, IL siskelfilmcenter.org

Have you been thinking about the end of the world lately? Yeah, us too. A worldwide pandemic, global warming, the possibility of nuclear war-news about a deadly planet hurtling towards Earth might not even make the front page above the fold. Dr. Maria C. Valdes, John Caldwell Meeker Postdoctoral Fellow, Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies discuss the facts behind the fear, and how what orbits above us impacts our present, and our potential future.

Melancholia (2011) - Lars von Trier's film stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Rampling as two sisters who find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

Can you 3D print a person? The science of cell development and tissue printing.

The Grand Cinema • Tacoma, WA grandcinema.com

Pacific Lutheran University Professor Lathiena Nervo, Ph.D. will discuss the current landscape of bioengineering, specifically 3D Bioprinting, a type of printing that requires the use of bioink made up of a compilation of organic and inorganic materials to build tissues and organs.

The Fifth Element (1997) - In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), finds the fate of the world in his hands when Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) falls into his cab. As the embodiment of the fifth element, Leeloo needs to combine with the other four to keep the approaching Great Evil from destroying the world.

Delete, Ignore, Delete: What Happens When Silicon Valley "Cleans" the Internet?
[virtual event]

Indiana University Cinema • Bloomington, IN cinema.indiana.edu

Dr. Sarah Roberts, Assistant Professor of Information Studies, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Co-Founder, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry will discuss what happens when Silicon Valley "cleans" the internet.

The Cleaners (2018) - This documentary dives into a secret, third-world shadow industry of online content moderation through the stories of five "digital scavengers," a handful of thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete "inappropriate" content from the internet.

Marine mammal hearing

Martha's Vineyard Film Society • Vineyard Haven, MA mvfilmsociety.com

Marine biologist Aran Mooney discusses mammal hearing and the importance of sound and whales' sensitivity to noise.

The Loneliest Whale (2021) - This documentary is a cinematic quest to find the "52 Hertz Whale," which scientists believe has spent its entire life in solitude calling out at a frequency that is different from any other whale.

The future of mobility

The Michigan Theater • Ann Arbor, MI michtheater.org

Expert Tara Lanigan discusses the diverse spectrum of autonomous mobility challenges and possible solutions/next steps in moving closer to a safer, greener, and more accessible world.

Autonomy (2019) - A look at the world of automated vehicles and the future of driving.

Look Up: Who is out there?

Rosendale Theatre Collective • Rosendale, NY rosendaletheatre.org

Dr. Colette Salyk, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Vassar College, and Dr. Oksana Laleko, Associate Professor of Linguistics at the State University of New York-New Paltz, will lead a post-screening discussion about the film's themes.

Arrival (2016) - Director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Dune) cemented his auteur status with this superb and cerebral sci-fi masterpiece, featuring a stellar lead performance by Amy Adams.

Migratory patterns of butterflies

Real Art Ways • Hartford, CT realartways.org

Jay Kaplan, Director of the Roaring Brook Nature Center, discusses the the migratory patterns of butterflies and how those patterns have been impacted by climate change.

Son of Monarchs (2020) - A Mexican biologist's return from New York to his hometown near butterfly forests of Michoacán sparks a personal metamorphosis.

Space Travel

Salina Art Center • Salina, KS salinaartcenter.org

Astronaut Mark P. "Forger" Stucky discusses the future of commercial space travel.

First Man (2018) - A look at the life of the astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Green Screening: Then and now

Willcox Theater and Arts • Willcox, AZ willcoxtheater.com

Panelists discuss the progression of cinema's green screen uses and technology from the 1950s to 2022.

The Giant Gila Monster (1959) - A giant lizard terrorizes a rural Texas community and a heroic teenager attempts to destroy the creature.


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