The Martian

144 mins.
Directed by Ridley Scott
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Tue, 4/25

Professor Darby Dyar of Mt. Holyoke College joins us for an introduction as part of Science on Screen®, presenting creative pairings of current, classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.

During a mission to Mars, American astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and left behind. But Watney is still alive.

Against all odds, he must find a way to contact Earth in the hope that scientists can devise a rescue plan to bring him home.

Nominated for 7 Oscars at the 2015 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Topic: Separating Fact from Fiction in Andy Weir's The Martian
Adapted from an outstanding book by Andrew Weir of the same title, THE MARTIAN explores what might happen if an astronaut got left behind on Mars by a hastily departing crew. Although the initial premise and penultimate scene in the movie are truly fictional, Weir does a mostly faithful job of presenting what life on Mars might be like. Planetary scientist Darby Dyar walks us through how this book foreshadows probable reality in the next 100 years of human exploration of the Red Planet.

Speaker: Darby Dyar
Darby Dyar is the Kennedy-Schelkunoff Professor of Astronomy at Mount Holyoke College and Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. She is an analytical geochemist and mineralogist who studies the evolution of the solar system as revealed by spectroscopy and machine learning. She is the Deputy Principal Investigator on the upcoming VERITAS mission to Venus and was on the science team for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Her honors and awards include the G.K. Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America (GSA), the Hawley Medal from the Mineralogical Association of Canada, and the Eugene Shoemaker Distinguished Scientist Medal from NASA; she is a Fellow of GSA, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the Geochemical Society. She earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. for geochemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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