A Presentation by the Frankenstein Project of Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society
“Frankenstein,” a story written on a dare by an 18-year-old Mary Shelley on a gloomy summer holiday with her lover and friends, was published 200 years ago. Celebrate the bicentennial of the novel and its enduring impact with a presentation on April 12, 2018, by Robert Cook-Deegan from Arizona State University’s Frankenstein Project, an extraordinary multi-year effort by the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.
The Frankenstein Project delves into the novel’s “landmark fusion of science, ethics, and literary expression.” It explores the novel’s lasting impact on issues and ethics surrounding the present day development of medicine, artificial intelligence, science, art, literature, and movies. ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society adopted Shelley’s story of unconventional creation and its eccentric creator to prompt discussion and contemporary projects while addressing the questions: What is life? What does it mean to be human? Why do we create?
Frankenstein is believed to be the first science fiction novel and certainly influenced the genre of horror literature and, later, film. Shelley likely drew from the fears and anxieties of her contemporaries, the early experimentation and fear of electricity, the resurrectionists, and study of surgery. The program will also address her legacy that leaves the issues of responsibility and ethics in what we create today.
Robert Cook-Deegan is a professor at the School for the Future of Innovation inSociety, and Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University.