Blade Runner: The Final Cut + Discussion M

Close up of actor Harrison Form in a scene from the film Blade Runner
18 August
Arc Cinema
Free (bookings essential)
Dir: Ridley Scott, M, United States, 1982, 116mins, DCP,

What is in a memory? Why do we feel emotions? How do they relate to our sense of identity, self and responsibility?

Blade Runner (1982) encourages us to reflect on how these questions about memories, emotions and selfhood not only define what it means to be human, but also how we relate to those who have similar capacities, including those who do not have an organic body.

The film provokes conversations on how the cognitive and emotive capacities of replicants - human-like androids with superior strength and a similar level of intelligence to humans - could influence how we perceive them and advocate for their rights and liberties.

The screening will be preceded by a brief introduction on robots in popular culture and on ethical issues raised by embodied artificial intelligence. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion involving scientists and ethicists.

So come and join us in exploring the meaning of memories, and how they relate to life, love, and liberty, through this science-fiction classic.

‘A masterpiece of dystopian science-fiction on film’ - The Daily Telegraph

This screening is part of the SCIENCE. ART. FILM. series presented by the National Film and Sound Archive, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and ANU Humanities Research Centre.



Associate Professor Adrian Carter is an ARC Future Fellow and Head of the Neuroscience and Society Group at the School of Psychological Sciences and Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, Monash University. He also co-chairs the Australian Brain Alliance Neuroethics Subcommittee at the Australian Academy of Science. His research examines the impact of neuroscience on our understanding and treatment of addiction, mental illness and neurological disorders, including agency, identity, moral responsibility, privacy, stigma and discrimination; the use of coercion and the capacity for voluntary control of behaviours; and the use of emerging technologies such as brain stimulation, brain computer interfaces, wearables and neuroimaging, to treat mental illness.

Dr John Noel Viana is a research fellow at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University. He explores ethical, equity and diversity issues in health research, promotion and communication. He has a PhD in neuroethics, with a thesis examining ethical considerations in clinical trials of invasive brain stimulation in people with Alzheimer’s disease. He also has several bioethical publications on media portrayals of mindfulness apps, 3D bioprinting, and brain-computer interfaces; application of new neuroimaging modalities; and unintended effects experienced by people receiving invasive brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease.

Louisa Shen is a researcher at the ANU School of Cybernetics, where she works to develop research strategy and evidence-based methodologies for partner projects. Louisa was educated in Auckland and Cambridge. She trained originally in literature, film and history in New Zealand, with a significant apprenticeship in writing studies. Prior to returning to research in the United Kingdom, she worked as technical author in the software sector. Her professional and academic experience therefore sits at the intersection of the arts and sciences, with a significant emphasis on the history of technology and the phenomenology of sensory engineering. Her PhD thesis examined the genesis and evolution of electronic screens (19th century to present) and their implications for our visual cultures and ways of seeing. Other areas of research interest include computer vision, media and art technologies, the cultural constructions of electronic and computational culture, and the portrayal and refraction of technology in visual texts, broadly conceived.



Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens is a Lecturer in Popular Entertainment Studies at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and the Head of the Popsicule – ANU’s Science in Popular Culture and Entertainment Hub. Her research explores the cultural meanings of science.



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