The fifth Science on Screen event in collaboration with the Barbican was held on Tuesday, 8 December. Neurosurgeon Tipu Aziz introduced the ever popular Blade Runner to a packed audience in cinema 2. The film questions the distinctions we might think to make between real and artificial intelligence, as blade runner Deckard hunts down a number of replicants on the loose. This distinction partly rests on the role of memories in the formation of a coherent psychological identity. But the idea that the Voight-Kampff test works by teasing out the emotional maturity of its subjects is undermined by the dismal dystopian backdrop of Los Angeles in 2019. Fittingly, it is the replicant Roy Batty who, moments before his death, articulates some of humanity’s most precious sentiments in his famous “Tears in Rain”monologue.
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