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Two hundred years after its creation, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is still alive and well, continuing to shape how we imagine science and its moral consequences. Frankenstein’s cultural life reaches far beyond the book page, extending into film, television, video games, graphic novels, toys, and even breakfast cereal (not to mention a song with lyrics by Margaret Atwood). Shelley’s novel also remains a powerful lens through which we reckon with emerging technologies, conceptualize the research process, imagine the motivations and ethical struggles of scientists and engineers, and weigh the benefits of innovation with its unforeseen pitfalls. Presented in conjunction with a new critical edition just published by the MIT Press, titled Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds, this event features one of the book’s editors, Ed Finn, in conversation with the founding director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Donald Ingber, and literary biographer Charlotte Gordon. The conversation will be moderated by Juan Enriquez, the managing director of Excel Venture Management and bestselling author of, most recently, Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Shaping Life on Earth. What better place for science and literature to converge than at the chic and futuristic Le Laboratoire? Stoke your own creativity at a pre-discussion cocktail reception featuring a complimentary array of innovative (and delicious) appetizers from Café ArtScience and a cash bar (no credit cards, please).
This event is cosponsored by the MIT Press and is part of their authors@MIT series.