Science of Batman: Another Reason UVic is Awesome

Batman-V-Superman-Armored-Batsuit-Costume-Comic-ConSince Batman V Superman is going to be released in 72 hours (I’m beyond excited), I figured I should write a blog post about a class I’m taking that studies The Caped Crusader in depth.

One of my favorite things about UVic is the multitude of electives there are. I’ve been able to take classes ranging from MUS 308 (The History of Rock n’ Roll) to CHEM 437 (Medicinal Chemistry). I’m going to be finishing up my degree in April, and there’s one elective that’s going to stick out to me: The Science of Batman (EPHE 156). This course was proposed back in 2012, and this year is the first time it’s being offered.

I’ve always been a massive Batman fan, having grown up watching Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and I watch Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy at least four times a year. As a prospective scientist, the Science of Batman seemed like it would be right up my alley.

batman-4After the first day of class, I knew right away that this was going to be awesome. The professor, Dr. E. Paul Zehr, authored a book called Becoming Batman back in 2008 and bases the course content off of it. This book looks at the possibility of a human becoming Batman from a variety of different disciplines including neuroscience, muscle physiology, and human conditioning.

The professor is definitely the highlight of this course: Dr. Zehr is straight-up one of the coolest professors I’ve had at UVic. You can really tell how passionate he is about the course material and that he really wants students to succeed in the class. It’s also obvious that he’s a huge Batman fan, and even goes as far as including panels from Batman comics in lectures and even on midterms. His lectures are also hilarious and he brings in lots of guest speakers such as police officers and professional fighters.

Another really cool part of this course is the group project: students are required to split into groups and make a movie that links any part of the Batman Universe and any scientific discipline (for example, my group made a movie about the biochemistry behind Scarecrow’s fear gas).

DK-0113During UVic’s IdeaFest this year, Dr. Zehr, along with a psychologist from Henderson State University in Arkansas and a philosopher from the College of Staten Island in New York, delivered a presentation called An Evening with Batman’s Brain. Here, they looked at the Batman Universe from neuroscientific, psychological, and philosophical perspectives. They answered questions such as: ‘Can someone become Batman?’, ‘Is Batman insane?’, and ‘Why doesn’t Batman kill the Joker?’. It was awesome to see some of the material I’d learned in class being presented to the public.

I would recommend this class to anyone who’s a fan of comic books and wants to dive a little deeper to see how it all works. The Science of Batman has interesting material, an awesome professor, and it’s such a good time! I encourage anyone interested in this class to have a look at Dr. Zehr’s TEDTalk titled ‘The Superhero In You‘ to get an idea of what the class is like.

This course isn’t the elective UVic deserves, it’s the elective it needs.

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5 Responses

  1. Rushi says:

    any online course available for batman ?

  2. Justin says:

    Are they thinking of this course being online soon…and when is it available next to apply to do it at the uni

  3. Muthukumar says:

    How much does it for studying the science of batman course in university of Victoria