The Berman Institute Tackles the Bioethics of Summer Blockbusters

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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.



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