Erica Messer and “Criminal Minds” get cryogenics/cryonics right

CSA sent kudos to Erica Messer, show runner for the CBS series “Criminal Minds,” for getting the important distinction between cryogenics and cryonics right, and putting the explanation into the mouth of the show’s smartest character. The dialogue took place in a recent episode, “The Forever People,” and was spoken by Dr. Spencer Reid, the “genius” of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. CSA Executive Director Laurie Huget’s letter read:

Dear Ms. Messer:

As a loyal viewer of “Criminal Minds,” I was delighted with comments by Dr. Spencer Reid in the recent episode, “The Forever People.”

He very clearly distinguished between cryonics, the pseudoscience of freezing dead bodies in hopes of later reanimating them, and cryogenics, a technology that is working in our everyday lives on earth and in space to provide some amazing products and services.

As you may imagine, I have spent a considerable part of my long career as executive director of the Cryogenic Society of America trying to drive this distinction into the public’s mind. The “gee whiz” factor of cryonics has inspired all areas of public media and held me back in my efforts. You may find it interesting that once in a while I even get sent scripts featuring cryonics from persons asking me to check their “facts”!

So, on behalf of our society, which celebrated out 50th anniversary last year, I want to thank you and the writers who were smart enough to put this in the script. Coming from Dr. Spencer, it had added weight! Good for you.

I’m enclosing a bookmark we produced for public dissemination in our efforts to gain some cred and understanding for cryogenics. Our members really are amazing, working at NASA/JPL, universities, in astrophysics, at such national labs as Fermilab and the Stanford Linear Accelerator, and in cryosurgery and medicine, as well as in such lower-tech industries as food freezing and metals treatment. I’m also enclosing a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of our magazine, Cold Facts.

Keep up the good work and please let the writers know how much I appreciated that intelligent dialogue!

Warm regards,

Laurie Huget
Executive Director