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Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas for my assignment!  Here's a
summary
of how it turned out, along with a compilation of suggestions.  (I
haven't had a chance to check them all out, but at first glance, they
all seem to fit the assignment.)

Writing Assignment for NSET 110:  Introduction to the Natural Sciences



NSET 110 is a class in the core curriculum of Point Park College.  Part
of the requirement for the core classes is a demonstration of effective
written communication skills and “a demonstrated knowledge of how the
academic disciplines interrelate so as to illuminate the human
condition.”  This assignment is designed to address these tasks.

Assignment:
Analyze a film or play in a 3-5 page essay.  This paper will contain the
following components:
-a brief plot summary (approximately ½ page)
-an analysis of how one scientist is represented in the story, with an
explanation of how this representation is typical or atypical of
society’s attitudes toward scientists.
-an explanation of one aspect of the science (real or made-up) utilized
by the story.   If it’s real, explain how it works.  If it’s not,
explain why it can’t work.  If it’s a mix of real science and imaginary
science, explain what part of it is real (and how it works) and what
part is made up.  For example, if you pick "The Matrix," you might
choose to look at the science behind virtual reality.  You would then
explain what was real (in the current state of technology), how it
works, and what the filmmakers had to make up.

Each paper topic must be pre-approved by me.

Even though we will not be covering life science in this course, you may
choose a life science topic and a life science scientist (e.g. a medical
doctor).  However, you may not choose a human science (psychology,
sociology, economics, etc.) or one of its professionals.

Document all sources in MLA style.







Some suggestions follow:

Plays:
Berthold Brecht’s “Galileo”
Ben Jonson’s “The Alchemist”
Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”
Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus”

Films:
Dr. Strangelove
Jurassic Park
Any Star Wars
Any Star Trek
Frankenstein
Back to the Future
A Clockwork Orange
Dune
Charly  (an adaptation of Daniel Keyes’ play, “Flowers for Algernon”)
Slaughterhouse-Five
The Time Machine
20,000 Leagues under the Sea
The War of the Worlds
Gattica
October Sky
The Island of Dr. Moreau
Contact
The Right Stuff
Deep Impact
Armageddon
The Andromeda Strain
Sphere
Alien
Silence of the Lambs
Fantastic Voyage
The X Files
Outbreak
Virus
Species
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
China Syndrome
The Abyss
The Philadelphia Experiment
Twelve Monkeys
And the Band Played On
Medicine Man
War of the Worlds
Awakenings
At First Sight
Lorenzo's Oil
Philadelphia
Fat Man and Little Boy
Bladerunner

Any bad sci-fi film
Any bad sci-fi-horror film