Support the news

It's Alive! Frankenstein At 20047:40
Download

Play

With guest host Jane Clayson.

Frankenstein at 200. We’ll dissect Mary Shelley’s iconic Gothic novel, its themes of responsibility in innovation, ethics, and lessons for today.

Guests:

Jill Lepore, professor of American history at Harvard University and staff writer at the New Yorker.

Sidney Perkowitz, professor emeritus of physics, Emory University, and co-editor of "Frankenstein: How a Monster Became an Icon." (@physp)

Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, co-director of the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, co-editor of "Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds." (@zonal)

From The Reading List:

New Yorker: The Strange And Twisted Life Of 'Frankenstein' — "Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus' when she was eighteen years old, two years after she’d become pregnant with her first child, a baby she did not name. 'Nurse the baby, read,' she had written in her diary, day after day, until the eleventh day: 'I awoke in the night to give it suck it appeared to be sleeping so quietly that I would not awake it,' and then, in the morning, 'Find my baby dead.'"

Two hundred years ago, a 20-year-old English author anonymously published the tale of a scientist – obsessed with the impossible – creating life. The story evolved into a classic. A masterpiece. Revered alongside Shakespeare. Byron. Melville. The book was decades – centuries, even – ahead of its time. Raising deep, existential questions about who we are, our responsibility in science, and our ethical obligations. This hour, On Point: Frankenstein rises again 200 years on. --Jane Clayson

This program aired on February 13, 2018.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news