Dont look up sos

Daniel Holz

Professor at the University of Chicago, in the Enrico Fermi Institute, the Department of Physics, the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics


Elisabeth J. Moyer

Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, in the Geophysical Sciences department

Don't Look Up— It’s the end of the world as we know it... and we could use some help in feeling fine (Part II)

Series: It’s the end of the world as we know it... and, if we’re being honest, we could use some help in feeling fine. From pandemics to nuclear war, from planet-pulverizing meteors to a city-smashing monster, these films explore all the ways we’re risking destruction. This series is curated in partnership with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, keepers of the Doomsday Clock. Join us as we discuss the end times—and how we can avoid them.

In McKay’s urgent, star-studded satire, two astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) go on a media tour to warn humankind of a planet-killing comet hurtling toward Earth, and the response—from influencers to the White House—is decidedly “whatever.” Followed by a discussion with University of Chicago professors Daniel Holz and Elizabeth Moyer.

Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago, IL

Film Synopsis

Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.

    Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem: it's on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it's too late proves shockingly comical -- what will it take to get the world to just look up?! — Rotten Tomatoes

    Photo courtesy of Netflix

    About the Speaker

    Daniel studies the interface of general relativity, astrophysics, and cosmology, focusing on topics ranging from nearby black holes to distant supernovae, and from dark matter to the most massive superclusters of galaxies. He is currently exploring what we will learn about the universe from gravitational wave detectors. In particular, he is studying binary compact objects composed of black holes or neutron stars as powerful electromagnetic and gravitational-wave sources.

    Elisabeth J. Moyer is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago in the Geophysical Sciences department. Her research focuses on atmospheric science, climate statistics, and energy and climate policy analysis. Her work includes measurements of high-altitude clouds and climate modeling for impacts assessment, with an emphasis on building statistical tools to help bring climate science results to other fields. Assoc. Prof. Moyer directs the university's Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy and the collaborative program "International Partnership for Cirrus Studies" and is an associate in the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago.