PROJECT SUMMARY Overview: Page A We are applying for a workshop grant under the Advanced Informal Science Learning program to convene an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team to plan various research and outreach activities in celebration of the 2016-2018 bicentennial of the conception, writing and publication of Mary Shelley?s Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus. As part of the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, our team of natural and social scientists, engineers, artists and humanists will design plans for producing exhibits and installations, fiction and nonfiction writing contests, performances and curricula that combine science education, ethics and artistry. The workshop will move the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project from imagination to execution by tasking working groups to create these plans by establishing clear research questions or objectives, target specifically defined audiences, and lay the groundwork for durable collaborations as well as assessment procedures and archival plans to preserve and share the products of the various Frankenstein Bicentennial activities. Intellectual Merit : No work of literature has done more to shape the way humans imagine science and its moral consequences than Frankenstein, Mary Shelley?s enduring tale of creation and responsibility. In writing Frankenstein, Shelley produced in both the creature and its creator tropes that not only continue to resonate with contemporary audiences but actually influence the way we confront emerging technologies, conceptualize the process of scientific research, imagine the motivations and ethical struggles of scientists and weigh the benefits of scientific research with its unforeseen pitfalls. Shelley?s landmark fusion of science, ethics and literary expression provides an opportunity both to reflect on how science is culturally framed and understood by the public and to create new scientific and technological innovations, especially around synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. Frankenstein is shot through with the exhilaration of seemingly unbounded human creativity, but also prompts serious reflection about our responsibility for nurturing the products of our creativity and imposing limits on our own capacities to change the world around us. Engaging with Frankenstein allows scholars and researchers, as well as a broad public, to consider the history of scientific progress together with our expanding understanding and abilities in the future. The workshop is organized under the auspices of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and the Center for Science and the Imagination and takes advantage of the interdisciplinary collaborations they have forged at ASU and with other institutions. Broader Impacts : This group of researchers, educators and communicators is highly motivated to collaborate across the traditional disciplinary boundaries of science, engineering, arts and humanities. The Frankenstein Bicentennial will serve as a fulcrum for realigning research agendas across institutions to encourage such collaboration. It will infuse science and engineering endeavors with considerations of ethics as well as the power of storytelling to shape the process of innovation and the public appraisal of scientific discovery. Simultaneously, it will offer humanists and artists a new set of concerns around research, science policy and the ramifications of exploration, discovery and invention. The workshop will catalyze the formation of an interdisciplinary network of researchers who are motivated to build novel connections and whose collaborations will begin, but will certainly not end, with the Frankenstein Bicentennial. In the US, public distrust of science is prevalent, and issues around science policy and research funding are unfamiliar to most citizens. The Frankenstein Bicentennial uses a legendary novel with a vibrant cultural life in popular media like film, graphic novels, video games, and even iPad apps as an accessible point of entry to educate the public about the transformative power of scientific research, as well as the ethical and social issues that make science and research policy a crucial area of concern. Weaving the artistic and cultural web around Frankenstein with its underpinnings in science, engineering and intellectual history will highlight the role of the imagination and creativity in science and engineering to interest young people in STEM education and careers while increasing science literacy across the public through events, exhibits in public spaces and interactive digital resources.
|Effective start/end date||3/1/14 → 2/29/16|
- National Science Foundation (NSF): $49,997.00