Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien all feature what inventor Rotwang in Metropolis might call “man-machines”. All these human creations exhibit traits that resemble human traits and all of them exhibit traits that associate them with a particular gender. What are these traits and which gender are they associated with? All the “man-machines” are the product of science and technology. To what extent do they reflect long standing prejudices regarding the respective abilities of men and women to engage in science and research? To what extent do they reflect scientific claims regarding natural male and female qualities, such as those proposed by Darwin and by some more recent theories based on Darwin’s theories of natural and sexual selection? To what extent do the representations of “man-machines” in these movies contradict such traditions and scientific claims?

Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien all feature what inventor Rotwang in Metropolis might call “man-machines”. All these human creations exhibit traits that resemble human traits and all of them exhibit traits that associate them with a particular gender. What are these traits and which gender are they associated with? All the “man-machines” are the product of science and technology. To what extent do they reflect long standing prejudices regarding the respective abilities of men and women to engage in science and research? To what extent do they reflect scientific claims regarding natural male and female qualities, such as those proposed by Darwin and by some more recent theories based on Darwin’s theories of natural and sexual selection? To what extent do the representations of “man-machines” in these movies contradict such traditions and scientific claims?

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