Course Information
Course title
Biology in the Movies 
Designated for
Curriculum Number
Curriculum Identity Number
H01 06900 
Wednesday 3,4(10:20~12:10) 
The upper limit of the number of students: 120. 
Ceiba Web Server 
Course introduction video
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Association has not been established
Course Syllabus
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Course Description

The movies have long exploited biology as a source of bankable plot material. This trend has been even more intensified recently as biological discoveries and biotechnology advanced. Filmmakers capitalize recent discoveries to produce movies with science-based plots to an increasingly aware public. In view of their mass appeal, such movies play a significant role in society as disseminators of scientific facts and misinformation. They thus serve as a useful starting point for exploring various aspects of the relationship between science and the public perception of science. This course is designed for NON-BIOLOGY majors to learn about how science is done through group discussions on various biological topics drawn from movies. Students will additionally explore public misconceptions and naiveté about science that are perpetuated by movies, as well as the extent to which such movies borrow from, or in some cases, even predict scientific fact. This course requires bi-weekly screenings of a feature-length movie prior the lectures in the classroom. Films and topics are organized around biological themes: Discussion of films that feature different biological transformations will focus on distinguishing between science fiction and science fact, understanding the uses of the underlying principles in scientific research, and exploring real world analogies to such fictional concepts as fly-human chimeras and reconstructed dinosaurs. 

Course Objective
This course provides an introduction to the science, theory, and practice of biology, using movies as a learning and discussion tool. Students will watch several movies, discuss relevant biological issues, and determine the accuracy of the movies from a scientific standpoint. The basic concepts discussed include the scientific methods by which we come to know things in a scientific way. They help you to know and appreciate the precision and complexity of living processes. Upon completing this course, students will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method within a disciplinary context as well as a better English writing skills. 
Course Requirement
Attendance is expected. If you find that you must miss class, do file the leave of absence on ceiba before lecture begins. You are allowed 1 free absence in this course. After that, each unauthorized absence will result in a reduction of your final grade by one full letter grade (i.e. A- to B-); this policy is cumulative. Extreme emergencies arise in life, so feel free to contact me if this happens to you (sickness or death in the family, etc.), but do so within a week to be excused. One may not text, use a phone, or have your laptop open while I am speaking. Breach of regulations will lower your final grade by one increment (i.e. A to A-) the moment it happens. Homework will be assigned bi-weekly. All writing will account for your total grade. The assignment you turn in should be neat, and legible. Make sure to show sufficient work for each time. Insufficient work or copy and paste from the web pages may result in zero score.
Each student shall come up with a two-page, 12 font, single-spaced screening review writing, and submit it to ceiba within 5 days. Late assignments will not be accepted for any reason. Students are strongly encouraged to carefully review the syllabus and locate the current readings and topics in relation to the course as a whole. Know why you are discussing this particular topic at this juncture in the course. Using the syllabus and lecture material to generate questions and comments in advance is highly recommended. 
Office Hours
No textbook for the course. 
Designated reading
Week 2
Week 3 Pinnapureddy, A. R., C. Stayner, J. McEwan, O. Baddeley, J. Forman and M. R. Eccles 2015. Large animal models of rare genetic disorders: sheep as phenotypically relevant models of human genetic disease. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, doi:10.1186/s13023-015-0327-5.
Week 4 Service R. F. 2015. Researchers may have solved origin-of-life conundrum. Science| DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0325
Week 5
Week 7
Week 12
Week 14
Week 17 
Week 1
2/28  February 28 Peace Memorial Day (holiday) 
Week 2
3/07  Course introduction 
Week 3
3/14  『Screening』 Lorenzo’s oil (1992) 
Week 4
3/21  Why do we get sick 
Week 5
3/28  Class switching (No Class) 
Week 6
4/04  Children's Day(holiday) 
Week 7
4/11  『Screening』Jurassic park (1993) 
Week 8
4/18  Origin of life 
Week 9
4/25  『Screening』 Wall-E (2008) /Beyond beauty;Taiwan from above (2014)/ The end of the line (2009) 
Week 10
5/02  Conservation biology 
Week 11
5/09  Gattaca (1998)/ Moon (2009) 
Week 12
5/16  Why is genetics important to us? 
Week 13
5/23  『Screening』 My sister’s keeper (2009)/ Never let me go (2010) 
Week 14
5/30  Organ donor/ transplantation legality 
Week 15
6/06  『Screening』Her (2013) / Ex machina (2015) 
Week 16
6/13  Bionics 
Week 17
6/20  『Screening』Me before you (2016) 
Week 18
6/27  Final week