Film Screening: Advantageous

Film - Feature | March 9 | 5-7:30 p.m. | The Law Building, Room 100

 Department of Gender and Women's Studies

Please join us at 5:00 pm on March 9, 2016 at UC Berkeley for the first screening of the 2017 series Being Human in a Biotech Age: Advantageous.

Professor Osagie Obasogie and Professor Charis Thompson will be with us in person to comment on the film after the screening.

About the film:

Advantageous posits a future a hundred or so years from now where declining fertility, economic crisis and advances in neuroscience conspire to pose some tough choices for a single mother (played by co-writer Jacqueline Kim.) The story revolves around Gwen Koh (Kim), a spokesperson for the Center for Advanced Health and Living, a biotech multinational organization. Gwen lives alone with her teenage daughter Jules (Samantha Kim) who might have a chance to attend one of the country’s top-ranked “bonding camps” as long as both she and Gwen pass the right academic and social tests, and can afford the exorbitant tuition fees. With an economic recession on, women are being pressured to stop working and stay home to make room for men in the job market. Gwen is then laid off in order to hire someone younger for her job to promote their latest invention: technology involving pulsing tubes and neurotransmitters that enables consumers to move his or her consciousness into a new body in order to become, pace their corporate slogan, “the you you were meant to be.”

About the Speakers:

Osagie K. Obasogie is the Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics in the Joint Medical Program and School of Public Health. He began his career at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law as an Associate and then full Professor of Law, teaching courses on Constitutional Law, race, and law and the health sciences. He joined Berkeley in 2016.
He now chairs the Diversity and Health Disparities Cluster at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. His research and writing is on bioethics, with a focus on the social, ethical, and legal implications of new reproductive and genetic technologies. Obasogie’s research also looks at the past and present roles of science in both constructing racial meanings and explaining racial disparities. He has a particular interest in developing legal mechanisms that can create the conditions for eliminating health disparities. An additional thread of Obasogie’s research uses novel theoretical and empirical interventions to explore the hidden ways in which racial thinking is central to law, medicine, and science. His first book, Blinded By Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind (Stanford University Press) was awarded the Herbert Jacob Book Prize by the Law and Society Association.

Charis Thompson is Chancellor's Professor and Chair of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies. Her current project is on Science elites, democracy, and inequality. Areas of research: Feminist Theory; Science and Technology Studies; Reproductive and Genetic Technologies; Personalized Medicine; Transnational and Comparative Studies of Reproduction, Population , Biodiversity and Environment. Professor Thompson teaches Gender, Race, and Nation and Health; Foundations of American Cyber-cultures; Environmental Ethics; Bodies and Boundaries; Gender and Science; Medicine as Identity, Expertise, and Governance; Population and Reproduction in Transnational Perspective; Science and Technology Studies; Feminist Theory; Mixed and Ethnographic Research Methods. She is the author of the books, Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies, MIT Press, 2005, and Good Science: The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research, MIT Press, 2013, and numerous papers.

For more information about the film Advantageous and to watch the trailer, visit

More about the Being Human in a Biotech Age Film series available at

Being Human in a Biotech Age is organized by:
The Center for Genetics and Society
Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society
Gender & Women's Studies - Chau Hoi Shuen Gender and Science Initiative
Boalt Healthcare and Biotech Law Society

and co-sponsored by:
Department of Ethnic Studies

About the Being Human in a Biotech Age Film Series:
With powerful new biotechnologies now emerging, the prospect of creating humans with “better” genetic characteristics is on the horizon. Some support these technologies as a way to "seize control of human evolution" or as an efficient means of producing "enhanced" children and future generations. Others believe that they would encourage efforts to engineer children to specification, and that creating genetically modified humans would open the door to new forms of inequality, discrimination and conflict. This film series explores what it means to be human in a biotech age.

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