Tag: berman institute of bioethics

Hopkins Profs Consult with Hollywood on Bioethics Issues

Photo of Hollywood bioethics panel via NPR
Photo of Hollywood bioethics panel via NPR

Do you ever watch a movie about a terrible epidemic, or a television drama set in a hospital and wonder: would they really peel back Gwyneth Paltrow’s face like that? Could Dr. House actually get away with being that big of a jerk? Believe it or not, Hollywood actually does consult with doctors, scientists, and bioethicists to make sure they get things right. And many of those consultants make their home at Johns Hopkins.

The Berman Institute Tackles the Bioethics of Summer Blockbusters


Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute is one of the largest centers of research and education in the field of bioethics in the world. Located in East Baltimore, the Institute studies the ethics of clinical practice, biomedical science, and public health. Issues some of us would be happy never to be asked to form opinions on, such as euthanasia, stem cell research and genetic engineering, are the bread and butter of the Berman Institute.

Surprisingly, amid their quandary ridden bulletin of bioethical news are occasionally sprinkled whimsical film essays.

In an article on the remake/prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, research program coordinator Ishan Dasgupta discusses the ethics involved in bestowing human traits on non-human animals.

Even better is the one about Captain America, in which research scientist Dan O’Connor considers whether Steve Rogers’s participation in the Super Soldier program counts as “therapeutic misconception.”

If your regular movie critic isn’t digging deep enough, you could try out the profound treatments of mostly shallow films available in the Berman Bulletin.