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"Be Afraid"

Written by Paul Sutter on Monday, 10 October 2016. Posted in From The Desk of...The Chief Scientist

Recently we screened the classic horror movie "Halloween" in the Giant Screen Theater as a part of a Sloan Foundation Science on Screen grant. Given my physics background, I had absolutely nothing useful or interesting to say about the movie, but plenty of my colleagues at OSU did. So I invited over a film professor (who's actually teaching a course on horror this semester), a geneticist, a clinical psychologist, and an economist for a panel Q&A after the movie.

The audience was very active and engaged, hitting the panel with thoughtful and insightful questions. It was interesting to hear the conversations sparked between, say, the film professor and the economist about what influences were shaping John Carpenter when he made that movie in the late 70's, or the geneticist and psychology describing the role that fear plays in our lives.

What happens in our brains and bodies when we get scared? What are we really afraid of in society? How does music or mood or lighting set the stage for a great horror movie? The panelists fielded these questions and more, and there was at least one person in the audience who learned a lot from the evening: me.

About the Author

Paul Sutter

Paul Sutter

Paul Sutter is COSI's Chief Scientist. He is an astrophysicist and offers a wealth of knowledge about our universe. In addition to his COSI position, Paul Sutter is a Cosmological Researcher and Community Outreach Coordinator at The Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP).