One of the greatest things about the 2016 revival of The X-Files is that we get to… talk about The X-Files! On tonight’s special scientastic episode of After Hours AM/America’s Most Haunted Radio — 9-11pE Thursdays with hosts Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen — we do just that with the science brain behind The X-Files, Dr. Anne Simon. Anne Simon is author of The Real Science Behind the X-Files: Microbes, Meteorites and Mutants, and recent lecturer on the subject at the Smithsonian. We will speak with Dr. Simon in the 9pE hour, then dig into the paranormal news and hobnob amongst ourselves in the 10pE hour. Listen to the episode live or the recorded podcast right here!
Anne Simon was science adviser for the The X-Files television series and the X-Files movie Fight the Future, and is author of The Real Science Behind the X-Files: Microbes, Meteorites and Mutants (Simon & Schuster, 1999). She has given talks throughout the country on the science of the X-Files including two recent sold-out appearances at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in early March, and was one of 50 scientists profiled for the New York Times book Scientists at Work. She recently provided science advice for the 2016 The X-Files revival and received story credit for the season finale, “My Struggle 2.”
When The X-Files premiered on Fox in 1993, few would have imagined that a show about two FBI agents investigating cases of a paranormal nature would become one of the most popular TV series of all time. What grounded the show was its roots in actual science. Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, relied on his longtime family friend, virologist Anne Simon, to provide solid scientific facts to underpin his paranormal themes.
Simon provided guidance on topics such as viruses, cloning, “junk” DNA, nanotechnology, endosymbionts, and other strange phenomena that have challenged the intellect and threatened the lives and sanity of agents Mulder and Scully. The X-Files is also significant for its focus on a female scientist as a lead character. Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Dr. Dana Scully, who uses her knowledge of science and medicine to search for the truth behind bizarre mysteries, inspired the “Scully Effect,” encouraging young people throughout the world to consider science as a career. Dr. Simon will share highlights of how science plays a role in The X-Files, and how Carter’s query on “how can he kill off everyone” led to Dr. Simon receiving story credit for episode six of the 2016 revival.
Anne Simon received her BA in Biology from the University of California San Diego and her Ph.D. in Genetics from Indiana University. After 13 years as a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dr. Simon moved to the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland College Park in 2000 where she continues her research on virus replication and translation currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Simon is the founder and director of the University of Maryland Virology Program, a senior editor of the “Journal of Virology” and “Current Opinion in Virology.” In 2002, Dr. Simon received the Francki Prize for Distinguished research in Plant Virology. Dr. Simon’s teaching specialty is Introduction to Biology, for which she has received a University Distinguished Teaching Award.