Primetime Bioethics: Genetic Ethics 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 genetic ethics 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


Genetic Ethics

  • The 100 (2014–2020, TV-14)
    • Set ninety-seven years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity's lone survivors sends one hundred juvenile delinquents back to Earth, in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Disaster Ethics, Genetic Engineering, Human Experimentation, Neuroethics, Research Ethics)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013–2020, TV-PG)
    • The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Cyborg, Genetic Engineering, Human Enhancement, Neuroethics, Personhood, Radical Life Extension, Research Ethics, Transhumanism/Posthumanism, Virtual Reality)
  • Blacklist (2013–present, TV-14)
    • A new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen, has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Cryogenics, Disaster Ethics, Organ Trafficking, Radical Life Extension, Surrogacy)
  • Dark Matter (2015–2017, TV-14)
    • In the dystopian 27th century, six people wake up on a deserted spaceship with no memory of who they are or what they're doing there. They reluctantly team up and set off to find answers with the help of a female android (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Genetic Engineering, Human Enhancement, Nanotechnology, Personhood, Robotics)
  • Limitless (2015–2016, TV-14)
    • An average twenty-eight-year-old man who gains the ability to use the full extent of his brain's capabilities is hired by the F.B.I. as a consultant (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Cognitive Enhancement, Emerging Technology, Genetic Ethics, Human Enhancement, Neuroethics, Research Ethics, Transhumanism)
  • Orphan Black (2013–2017, TV-MA)
    • A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Biotechnology, Designer Babies, Gene Patents, Genetic Engineering, Human Cloning, Human Enhancement, Regenerative Medicine, Research Ethics, Stem Cell Research, Transhumanism/Posthumanism)
  • The Rain (2018–2020, TV-MA)
    • After a brutal virus wipes out most of the population, two young siblings embark on a perilous search for safety (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Disaster Ethics, Genetic Engineering, Pandemics, Research Ethics)



Updated Summer 2019