"We're All Mad Here…."
Do you remember when the first Resident Evil game came out in 1996? Like me, some of you may have been too young to play it at the time. I was in fifth grade that year, learning about how scientists had just cloned a sheep named Dolly. In 1990, the Human Genome Project began, and my dad, a geneticist, was in the midst of tracking down which gene causes Huntington’s Disease. Only a few years later, when I was in high school, his photograph began to appear in science textbooks to mark his team’s success in that quest. But even away from my own family’s dinner table, cultural excitement and terror of scientific discoveries—from genetics, to manufactured diseases and disease-centric warfare insert your own ‘90s-era conspiracy theory about the AIDS crisis here, to cloning—was at an all-time high. 9/11 hadn’t happened yet; the economy climbed upwards; and everybody’s worst fear was of disease, scientists going “too far,” and the negative influence of massive pharmaceutical companies on medicine.