New season of “Science on Screen” at Coolidge

posted by Michael Zoldessy on September 21, 2009 at 7:40 am

BROOKLINE, MA — The Coolidge Corner Theatre kicks off a brand-new season of its popular Science on Screen series on Monday, Sep. 21 at 7 pm with a presentation of the Boston-based medical thriller “Coma” and a pre-screening talk by special guest Robin Cook, MD, author of the best-selling novel of the same name.

Something is not quite right at Boston Memorial Hospital. When her best friend falls into a coma after a routine operation, surgical resident Susan Wheeler (Geneviève Bujold) does some digging, and discovers that many other patients, all young and relatively healthy, have met the same fate. She digs deeper, but her obsession with finding answers only antagonizes her superiors and alienates her ambitious boyfriend, Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas), who is reluctant to believe her suspicions of foul play. The tension builds as Dr. Wheeler’s investigation leads her to a mysterious facility where she witnesses comatose bodies suspended on wires in a computer-controlled environment —– and uncovers a chilling link to the black-market trade in human organs.

Before the film, Dr. Cook will discuss some of the medical and ethical issues portrayed in “Coma” and how those issues still resonate today. Widely credited as the master of the medical thriller, Dr. Cook continues to dominate the category he helped create. Since the publication of “Coma” in 1977, he has successfully combined medical fact with fiction to produce a succession of 27 New York Times bestsellers that have been translated into 40 languages. In addition to “Coma”, numerous feature films, television movies, and mini-series have been made from his work.

Dr. Cook is a graduate of Columbia University Medical School and completed his postgraduate medical training at Harvard. He is currently on leave from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

With Science on Screen, the Coolidge presents a feature film or documentary with a basis in science, paired with exciting introductions by notable scientific figures. Launched in 2005, this monthly series is co-presented by The Museum of Science and New Scientist magazine.

Science on Screen programs are $9.75 regular admission or $7.75 for students and Museum of Science members. Members of the Coolidge Corner Theatre get free admission to these shows. Tickets are available in advance at the box office, located at 290 Harvard Street in Brookline, or on-line at For more information about Science on Screen, call 617/734-2501 or visit


Upcoming Science on Screen programs:

Oct. 19: “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” with John Durant, director, MIT Museum and MIT professor, and Anne Harrington, chair, Department of the History of Science, Harvard

Nov. 16: “Babette’s Feast” with Guy Crosby, science editor, Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen

Dec. 7: “American Beauty” with Daniel Gilbert, Harvard social psychologist and author, Stumbling on Happiness

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