The proliferation of science fiction in film and visual media brings scientific topics to large audiences, inspiring many people to develop a serious interest in scientific studies. Increasingly, science fiction is being used as a tool in the teaching of science and visual media provide excellent opportunities to foster student engagement and encourage reflection. In this article, we critique science fiction film in terms of ‘reel’ versus real science, highlighting how it illustrates scientific advances that are important in nanobiotechnology, molecular biology and biochemistry.

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