Primetime Bioethics: Neuroethics 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 neuroethics 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



  • XIII: The Series (2011–2012, TV-MA)
    • An amnesiac secret operative is being used by unknown groups to cover up dirty business involving high ranking officials from the CIA (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Neuroethics)
  • 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)
  • Alphas (2011–2012, TV-14)
    • Alphas is a science fiction drama focusing on a team that investigates people with supernatural abilities (IMDB description).
    •  (Topics: Human Enhancement, Neuroethics)
  • Altered Carbon (2018–2020, TV-MA)
    • Set in a future where consciousness is digitized and stored, a prisoner returns to life in a new body and must solve a mind-bending murder to win his freedom (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Cyborg, Human Enhancement, Neuroethics, Radical Life Extension, Regenerative Medicine, Transhumanism/Posthumanism, Virtual Reality)
  • Anon (2018, TV-MA)
    • In a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Augmented Reality, Cognitive Enhancement, Neuroethics, Privacy, Technology & Society)
  • Chuck (2007–2012, TV-14)
    • When a twenty-something computer geek inadvertently downloads critical government secrets into his brain, the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. assign two agents to protect him and exploit such knowledge, turning his life upside down (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Human Enhancement, Neuroethics, Cognitive Enhancement, Neuro-Enhancement)
  • Dollhouse (2009–2010, TV-14)
    • A futuristic laboratory has erased the identities of lost young people, and now imprints them with the temporary identities they need to fulfill assignments for clients (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Neuroethics, Human Enhancement)
  • Humans (2015–2018, TV-14)
    • Set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’—a highly-developed robotic servant that’s so similar to a real human it’s transforming the way we live (adapted from IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Life, Human Enhancement, Brain-Computer Interface)
  • 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)
  • Nikita (2010–2013, TV-14)
    • A rogue assassin returns to take down the secret organization that trained her (IMDB description).
    • (Topics: Biotechnology, Bioterrorism, Nanotechnology, Neuroethics, Research Ethics)



Updated Summer 2019