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The science that fed Frankenstein: Richard Holmes ponders the discoveries that inspired the young Mary Shelley to write her classic, 200 years ago
"In 1816, a teenager began to compose what many view as the first true work of science fiction--and unleashed one of the most subversive attacks on modern science ever written. Eighteen-year-old Mary Godwin (as she then was) had the idea for Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus that summer, while at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, with her lover and future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his friend and fellow poet Lord Byron ... "
Why Frankenstein is a Stigma Among Scientists.
As one of the best known science narratives about the consequences of creating life, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) is an enduring tale that people know and understand with an almost instinctive familiarity. It has become a myth reflecting people’s ambivalent feelings about emerging science: they are curious about science, but they are also afraid of what science can do to them. In this essay, we argue that the Frankenstein myth has evolved into a stigma attached to scientists that focalizes the public’s as well as the scientific community’s negative reactions towards certain sciences and scientific practices.