Templeton Institute to host faculty panel on “Oppenheimer” and special screening of film

Publication Date

A multidisciplinary faculty panel will explore the award-winning blockbuster, “Oppenheimer” Thursday, Feb. 15, at 12:55 p.m. in O’Brien 117.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, the biopic tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who led the Manhattan Project - the government program that developed the atom bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

A multidisciplinary faculty panel will explore the award-winning blockbuster, “Oppenheimer” Thursday, Feb. 15, at 12:55 p.m. in O’Brien 117.

The film was named best picture at the Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards. It received 13 Academy Award nominations, the most of any film this year. The movie has earned nearly $1 billion worldwide since its release last July.

“This type of event showcases some of the important ways in which the Templeton Institute brings together engineering, the sciences and the liberal arts at Union,” said Andrew Burkett, professor of English and co-director of the Templeton Institute of Engineering and Computer Science.

Burkett and Ashok Ramasubramanian, professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Templeton Institute, will moderate the event.

Panelists include Chad Orzel, associate professor of physics and astronomy; Jenelle Troxell, associate professor of English and co-director of film studies; and Mark Walker, the John Bigelow Professor of History.

“Our panelists look forward to contextualizing the film from such a range of disciplinary perspectives,” Burkett said. “Not only physics, film studies and history, of course, but also through questions about the connections between science and engineering so fundamental to the development of J. Robert Oppenheimer's work. Representatives from all four of Union's divisions will be on hand at the event to take part in the talks and discussion.”

Refreshments will be served in the lower lobby of O’Brien starting at 12:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the panel, a special screening of the movie will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at the GE Theatre at Proctors in downtown Schenectady. Burkett will introduce the film. The screening is free for members of the campus community who present their Union ID. Complimentary refreshments for the campus community with a Union ID will be available during the event.

Shuttles from campus to Proctors will be available at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Chapel traffic circle. Shuttles back to campus will begin at 10 p.m.

Both the faculty panel and the special screening are co-sponsored by the Templeton Institute and the departments of Film Studies, Physics and Astronomy, and History.

The Templeton Institute is made possible by a gift of $51 million, Union’s largest ever, in 2020, from 1980 graduates Rich and Mary Templeton. The gift supports the integration of engineering and computer science with the liberal arts, the recruitment and retention of women pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science, enhancements to the curriculum, faculty development and facilities. Rich Templeton is chair of the board of Texas Instruments.