May 26–ReGenesis and the trouble with science films

I don’t know how many of you have ever watched ReGenesis, a recent Canadian-based tv series that dramatizes some of the accomplishments, discoveries and challenges of today’s science by making a group of scientists working for a science lab the main protagonists. the new version of CSI? ER?
apparently, the series, now at its third season, has received several awards for its portrayal of scientific facts and its realistic depiction of the profession of the scientist.
still, the tv series is fiction. But it is advertised as a tool that can be used for “educational purposes.” what is even more problematic is that it is an initiative supported by the Ontario Genomics Institute, whose annual report front page read: “the future is in opur genes” and whose mandate is “research, business development, outreach”. no wonder someone  raised some issues when the panel of 5, including the chair of the Social Impact Programs at the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) presented the series to the audience of subtle technologies. after having discussed thoroughly the risks of commercialization of science and the responsibility of the private and corporate sector in distorting, manipulating and “selling” certain ideas to the public, the presentation of ReGenesis seemed just like a cool science ad, rather than a critically balanced, honest presentation.
not having a tv (or pay tv, as this series airs on cable), I cannot judge its accuracy or its quality. I have my doubts though. one of the panelists told me that I can bittorrent some episodes. I will probably follow his advice.

In the meantime, you can check their pretty website as well as the Ontario Genomics Institute. note, the series can be found under the link labelled “education” Innocent

www.OntarioGenomics.ca
www.OntarioGenomics.ca/education/regenesis.asp