Midcentury Mutants

On today’s episode we look at the real and imagined implications of genetic modification in the middle of the 20th century.

Episode 142 | March 2, 2012

Episode 142: Midcentury Mutants by Distillations Podcast

While fears of genetically modified organisms loom large in the modern public’s consciousness, let us take a moment to reflect on how these issues were approached in the Atomic Age. First, Distillations’ associate producer Michal Meyer speaks with CHF fellow Helen Curry about how intentional mutations of plants were interpreted in the 1950s—an era when the promise of such interventions reigned supreme. Then we look at how these scientific advances were interpreted through cinema in the same period, launching prolific characters like Godzilla.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:31 Introduction
01:42 Interview with Helen Curry
09:48 Hollywood and the Atomic Age
13:40 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Andy Mangravite for researching this show.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Music from the Free Music Archive includes “Thereming,” by Mr Fab and His Bag of Heads. Special thanks to for the remaining music. Image courtesy of Flickr user Marxchivist.