The Science of Love
In Joyce Draganosky's The Science of Love, the battle between reason and emotion takes center stage. A professor, who believes she has found a way of determining scientifically whether someone is in love, clashes with her department chair, a woman who thinks love and attraction are far too complex to be mapped according to the certainties of science. Draganosky was an Emmy-Award winning writer/director before she took a break from her television career to earn a Master's degree in filmmaking at Columbia. She has made several award-winning shorts, including The Science of Love, of which she says, "I feel very passionately about the battle between reason and emotion because I think it's an ancient battle, one that is fought over and over and over again as part of the human condition." Draganosky has chosen to illustrate this clash in the classic form of romantic comedy; the professor and her chair, would-be lovers, are first presented as barely being able to stand each other. "I'm very attracted to telling stories about inner conflict," says Draganosky. "The head wants one thing and the heart wants another. Dealing with these issues through comedy, particularly with this scientific subject matter, just makes the battle more bearable." In the year that she spent researching The Science of Love, Draganosky worked with world-renowned neurobiologist Dr. Joy Hirsch, a professor at Columbia University Neurological Institute's doctoral program for neurobiology and behavior, and director of Columbia's fMRI Research Center. Draganosky attended Hirsch's students' presentations, read many of their research materials and papers, and interviewed Hirsch and her colleagues. "I actually audio-taped the interviews because I wanted to get all the scientist-speak perfectly right so that I could write accurate dialogue." Draganosky was aware that her film, so comic on the surface, was wading into potentially turbulent waters. "The basic principle we're trying to illustrate with the film," she says, "is whether science can measure emotions. Anytime you talk about using science to measure human feelings you're going to spark lively debate. I'm not trying to prove or disprove theories; I'm trying to illustrate both sides of an argument. Like great sex, the fun is in the foreplay. The focus does not have to be on who is right and who is wrong or if there is even a right or a wrong. The sizzle is in the battle."