It’s alive!

What does it mean to create a monster, or to cross the line between nature and experimentation? A new exhibit at the US National Library of Medicine takes a look at Frankenstein, through the lens of bioethics.

In 1818, Shelley’s story was published as Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. This story — both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics — has captivated people ever since, exposing hidden, sometimes barely conscious fears of science and technology. As scientists have gained new powers, the Frankenstein story remains, like a warning beacon, throwing its harsh, unsettling beam upon human efforts to penetrate the secrets of nature.

Above, an artist from 1802 paints a scene of feared consequences of Jenner’s new smallpox vaccine.

Image via NLM, painting by James Gillray

Post to Twitter Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Send Gmail Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

Comments Off

Filed under Ethics, History of Medicine

Comments are closed.