The Science Behind Superheroes: Beyond the Mask

Double-lecture on the science behind superheroes
Wednesday 30 Nov 2022, 19:30 - 21:00
Spoken Language

Erasmus Paviljoen

Sign up! Add to calendar

Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Black Panther, or Batman. In the past decades we have been flooded with superheroes on the big screen and on TV. They seem to be able to pull off fantastic feats by use of incredible technology or altered DNA. But how realistic is this? Can gamma radiation really turn you into a green ball of muscle like the Hulk? Could the Iron Man suit actually be realized? And where does the idea of ‘the superhero’ come from anyway?

In this double-lecture, dr. Barry Fitzgerald and dr. Etienne Auge will help us in unravelling the science behind superheroes. Because these fantastical stories might not be as far-fetched as one might assume at first glance. It might even be something to consider in the future with the advent of new medical technologies. Barry Fitzgerald will explain us all about the possibilities of superpowers, from Iron Man to the heroes from The Boys, and from Batman to the Hulk.

Ever wondered why man created superheroes in the first place? Etienne Augé will tell us everything there is to know about the hidden origin of the heroes. How are they linked to religions and golems? What do they really represent? And how come that Jesus and Buddha are not associated with superheroes, but ‘lesser gods’ like Thor are a common sight in comics and movies? You will learn all the hidden cultural knowledge behind superheroes. Watching the next sequel to Black Panther, the Avengers, or Batman will never be the same!

Dr. Barry Fitzgerald is biophysicist and author of ‘Secrets of Superhero Science’ and ‘Secret Science of Santa Claus’. He has watched the 2012 film ‘The Avengers’ more than 40 times. On his YouTube Channel The Superhero Scientist he researches the possibility of superpowers.

Dr. Etienne F. Augé is principal lecturer in international communication at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. He teaches intercultural communication, film studies, and science fiction and is the founder of CHIFT (Community for Histories of the Future).

Prior knowledge of beta science (nor) superheroes is not necessary.

This event is organised by Studium Generale and ESN-Rotterdam

More information

Date: 30 November 
Time: 19.30 – 21.00 (Doors open: 19.00)
Location: Erasmus Paviljoen, Campus Woudestein
Entrance: Free

Related content
Together with ESN-Rotterdam, we invite you to our monthly film night on campus. This time we dive into Gotham City with The Batman.
Related links
More Studium Generale events

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes