SF State physicist explores science denial with ‘Don’t Look Up’ star, director
Physics and Astronomy Chair Joseph Barranco joined director Adam McKay and actor Leonardo DiCaprio to discuss the film and climate change.
The new Netflix film “Don’t Look Up” has been garnering attention from the general public, media and scientists alike for its satirical take on climate change (and some people’s denial of it). In an online panel last week, San Francisco State University Chair of Physics and Astronomy Joseph Andrew Barranco joined “Don’t Look Up” director Adam McKay, star Leonardo DiCaprio and SFFILM Director of Programming Jessie Fairbanks to discuss the movie and its message.
The event was held to honor “Don’t Look Up” as the 2021 winner of the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize, which celebrates compelling film depictions of science. In the movie, two astronomers (DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) try to warn the public about a comet on a collision course with Earth. The scientists’ warnings are comically — and tragically — ignored, offering a metaphor for climate change denial.