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Audrey Shafer: Why Frankenstein still holds a mirror to modern science

​Stanford’s Russ Altman and Audrey Shafer reflect on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and how it illuminates the moral and ethical challenges of modern science.

1931 Frankenstein film poster

From the 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic: "You are my creator, but I am your master; Obey!" | Image from Universal Pictures

On the eve of the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, medical doctor and bioengineer Russ Altman and Stanford anesthesiologist Audrey Shafer reflect on the enduring relevance of the book many call the first science fiction novel.

From artificial intelligence to stem cells, climate change to organ transplantation, Frankenstein’s monster seems more relevant than ever before as a mirror on the moral and ethical implications of modern science and its creations. Learn more on this episode of the Future of Everything radio show.

Altman and Shafer are part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and scholars leading a series of events at Stanford to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Shelley's classic.