A Beautiful Mind

Ghostbusters (1984)

Concept featured in clip: Observation
Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 1

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: Bill Murray is a professor of parapsychology and psychology at N.Y.U. He is conducting an unethical experiment involving ESP and electric shocks.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This clip is effective in initiating a discussion about the ethics of science. Certainly Bill Murray's experiment is a splendid non-example of ethical science. From this clip, students can see how experiments can do serious harm in the name of science.
Suggestions to teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What is Bill Murray trying to do in his experiment? Is this something that should be researched?

b. Is anything ethically wrong about Bill Murray's science experiment? Later on he is fired as a professor at New York University for this experiment. Is the firing justified based on what you see with this experiment? What is your rationale?

c. How could Bill Murray's experiment be changed so that it is more ethical?

d. Are there any stories in today's science news that seem questionable in terms of ethics?

2. From this clip you can segue right into the Tuskegee syphilis experiment or other well known, unethical scientific experiments. You can have the students compare and contrast the real-life cases with this experiment.

3. You could wait and show this clip after a learning cycle on ethics in science. The students could prepare an essay on why this is an example of unethical science, describe ways to make the experiment more ethical, and explain why science must be governed by certain regulations.