Primetime Bioethics: Emerging Technology Edition


CBHD often receives requests from educators and other individuals for popular resources that engage bioethics through various media (fiction, film, and television). In this resource, we offer a recap of materials relevant to emerging technology that have premiered on television. Viewers are cautioned that the shows represent a wide variety of genres and may not be appropriate for all audiences. They are encouraged to read annotations/synopses available through such websites as or If there is a show you think we missed, email us at


Emerging Technology

  • Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
    • This Sci Fi Channel remake has inspired a series of scholarly monographs carried by such publishers as Wiley-Blackwell, Continuum, I. B. Tauris, McFarland, and Open Court. (Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Human-Machine Relations)
  • Better Off Ted (2009-2010)
    • Comedy about a multinational corporation engaged in cutting-edge, and often over the edge, research. (Topics: Biotechnology, Emerging Technology, Human Subjects Research, Research Ethics)
  • Caprica (2009-2010)
    • This prequel to Battlestar Galactica sets the stage 50 years before the latter, showing how a startling advance in artificial intelligence sets in motion a series of unintended consequences leading to the emergence of the Cyclons and their subsequent wars with humans. (Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Uploading, Cyborgs, Human-Computer Interface, Personhood, Robotics)
  • Fringe (2008-2012)
    • Beginning with Season 2 FOX included a short discussion of the Science of Fringe that educators may find particularly helpful. (Topics: Biotechnology, Cloning, Cybrid/Animal-Human Hybrid, Human Enhancement, Nanotechnology, Radical Life Extension, Synthetic Biology, Transhumanism)
  • Intelligence (2014)
    • (Topics: Emerging Technology, Human Enhancement)
  • Revolution (2012-2014)
    • (Topics: Nanotechnology)



Updated December 2016