Final-Frankenstein-image-copyright-Alys-Jones

The Science and Ethics of Frankenstein Today and Tomorrow

Panel Discussion

Bristol800/
Sat 23 April 2016

The Science and Ethics of Frankenstein Today and Tomorrow

Panel Discussion

Final-Frankenstein-image-copyright-Alys-Jones
Sat 23 April 2016,

The term ‘Frankenstein technology’ is used often for changes that affect living things. Sometimes we appear to get used to them – as with IVF. News of new ones, such as recent advances in gene editing, still evokes old fears. And talk of head transplants and puppy cloning still sounds like hubris, or “playing God”, to some.

When is experimentation justified on grounds of benefit to life, especially relieving disease? What is the latest science? How do we manage choice and consent? And are there new ethical issues as some, once daring, techniques become domesticated, even commonplace?

Chaired by Jon Turney (author of Frankenstein’s Footsteps: Science, Genetics and Popular Culture) a distinguished panel discusses the issues. Panellists include Robin Lovell-Badge (group leader and head of the Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the Francis Crick Institute); Professor Alison Murdoch (Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Newcastle and founder of the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life), Sarah Norcross (Director of the Progress Educational Trust and Commissioning Editor of BioNews) and Lucy van de Wiel (Reproductive Sociology Department at the University of Cambridge).

This event will also include the first reading of a new poem by Vanessa Kisuule, commissioned specially for Frankenstein, culture and science.

This is one of the events in a special weekend of activity looking at Frankenstein, culture and science. It is part of Bristol800: a programme throughout 2016 marking significant anniversaries in the city and what they mean for Bristol now and into the future. Mary Shelley lived in Bristol in 1815. Bristol800 is an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (Arts Council England, Bristol City Council and Business West).

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