Bioengineering 24, Section 1

History of Biology in Science Fiction (1 unit, P/NP) SEATS AVAILABLE

Professor Terry Johnson
Tuesday 3:00-4:00, 247 Dwinelle Hall, Class number: 41066

The science fiction of a particular period often reflects the cultural struggles and anxieties of that time, while drawing inspiration from contemporary scientific discovery. In this course, we will examine fiction (primarily English-language short stories, novels, radio plays, television, and film). We’ll consider the actual biological science behind them (as it was understood at the time that the text was written), the ways in which authors apply and extrapolate science in their narratives, and to what ends. We’ll also discuss a few trends in science fiction, and how these trends have changed over time, and explore why.

Instructor Bio

Terry D. Johnson has a master's degree in chemical engineering from MIT and is currently an Associate Teaching Professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley. He hopes that by teaching in this field, he will be giving students the tools that they will need to repair him as he gets older.

He teaches courses in a wide range of subjects, displaying a versatility that has prevented him from achieving any actual expertise. In 2010 he received the Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching, and was one of the recipients of Berkeley's 2013 Distinguished Teaching Awards. He is also co-author of the popular science book How to Defeat Your Own Clone (and other tips for surviving the biotech revolution).

This seminar is part of the following programs

Food for Thought