June 14 - 15, 2016
Frankenstein’s Shadow: A Bicentennial Assessment of the Frankenstein Narrative’s Influence on biotechnology, medicine and policy
Schedule:14-15 June 2016
- Cook-Deegan Robert, Duke University, Research Professor
A June 14-15, 2016, event that will explore the influence of the Frankenstein narrative on debates about emering biological technologies. It will also review literary and cultural influences and highlight other exhibits and events connected to the Frankenstein bicentennial 2016-2018.
The purpose of the proposed June 2016 Brocher Symposium is to commemorate the origin of the Frankenstein narrative by bringing together scholars from many disciplines to assess its influence in different times and cultures, particularly its resonance in debates about public policy governing biotechnology and medicine. The focus of the workshop will be on how Frankenstein has affected the debate about new technologies and the role of the life sciences. The Frankenstein narrative has been incorporated deeply into fiction, film, and popular culture, but also how we think about the ethics of medical technology and the role of science and scientists. Many policy reports about regulation of recombinant DNA, gene therapy, genetically modified foods, and novel surgical technologies invoke the Frankenstein myth (sometimes accurately, more often a version influenced by Hollywood versions).
Time and place:
Based on reconstruction of events and textual references, scholars posit that Mary Godwin (who six month later married Percy Bysshe Shelley) conceived of the idea behind her 1818 novel in the wee hours of June 16, 1816 in Cologny, on the south shores of Lac Leman, along the E Bus route to Fondation Brocher and Hermance. Our hope is to schedule a symposium that will take place around that time, optimally including the night of June 15-16, 2016, two hundred years after the idea took shape.