Course Jukebox

Course Jukebox

Course Detail

Standard Academic Year
Course delivery methods
Business & administrative studies
College of Management
Main Campus
Course Offering Year
Course Offering Month
February - June
Weekday and Period
Monday 3,4
Course Number
LibEdu1069 (H01E06900)

Biology in the Movies National Taiwan University

Course Overview

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 students 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 weekly screenings of a feature-length movie at NTU multimedia center prior the one-hour lecture 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.

Learning Achievement

The primary goal of this course is to build a coherent foundation of knowledge in biology through film appreciation. 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 should be able to develop critical thinking and evaluation skills.


Course prerequisites

Attendance is expected. If you find that you must miss class, do file the leave of absence on Ceiba. You are allowed one free absence in this course. After that, each unauthorized absence will result in a reduction of your final grade by one grade; this policy is cumulative. 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 wrong format may result in reduction of credit or zero score.

Grading Philosophy

Course schedule

Course type

Online Course Requirement


Shun-Chern Tsaur

Other information

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