Usefulness of movies for discussing complex topics: Politics, religion and science in Ágora

José Aramburu, Fèlix Bosch, Mariano Sentí, Josep E. Baños

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Introduction. Popular movies have turned out to be useful educational tools able to introduce complex issues to students of health sciences. The present paper describes the usefulness of Ágora to discuss the conflicts that might appear when science is faced with religion or politics. Materials and methods. The movie was introduced to a group of students of fifth year of Biology. After seeing it, students completed, voluntarily and anonymously, a ten-item questionnaire, which considered the topics reflected in the film related with the educational objectives. Afterwards, a general discussion was carried out. They were asked to send a short essay with a personal thought about the activity. Results. Fifty-two students (96.3% of attendees) answered the questionnaire of evaluation. They considered that the movie had an outstanding interest to present the conflicts between science and social powers. They also agreed that such situations might still be present in the current world. Forty-nine students (90.7%) sent the short essays. Students mainly wrote about the above-mentioned conflict, the barriers to knowledge, the discrimination against women and the need of respect for personal opinions. Conclusions. Ágora may be a useful teaching tool to analyze and discuss the complex relationships among science, religion and politics. Even though it is set in the classical world, some of the issues posed in the movie may be still recognizable in our modern societies. © 2012 Educación Médica.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-101
    JournalEducacion Medica
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


    • Heliocentrism
    • Politics
    • Popular movies
    • Religion
    • Science
    • Scientific method


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