#SLA2017: The Frankenstein Bicentennial Project: Science Fiction as a Lens for Examining Science and Society Issues


Sponsored by: IET
Few works of literature have done more to shape the way we imagine science and its d moral consequences than Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley’s enduring tale of creation and responsibility. Frankenstein is a familiar narrative that helps to make sense of the often complex interplay between science, technology, and society. The story is a powerful lens through which we reckon with emerging technologies, conceptualize the research process, imagine the motivations and ethical struggles of scientists and engineers, and weigh the benefits of innovation with its unforeseen pitfalls. In collaboration with museums, science centers, libraries, research institutions, and other partners on its Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, Arizona State University conducts research, hosts public events, builds exhibitions, publishes books and articles, manages writing competitions, and launches innovative digital projects that use Frankenstein as a lens and/or exploring the novel’s colossal impact. In this session, we will discuss and seek feedback on two ongoing collaborative projects that bring experts together across disciplines and engage students and the public in playful deliberation around critical science and society issues.


  • Bob Beard

    ASU Center for Science and the Imagination


  • Peter Nagy

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Arizona State University, Center for Science and the Imagination


  • Joy McNally Brandow

    Research Support Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists


It’s alive!!!

Mary Shelly — 1818

Most frequently assigned work for reading.

Fear is embedded in discussion of sci/tech.

Transmedia concept — across all media

Single story across different platforms.

Transmedia Schema

Transmedia as 21st century skill.

Work across media spaces.

Frankenstein 200:

  • Frankenstein’s Workbench
  • ARG — game
  • Footlocker

Frankenstein’s Footlocker:

  • Help learners develop STEM interest
  • Developed digital literacy
  • Awareness of issues around science and society


  1. Science artifacts for critical reflection.
  2. Science identity development through playful engagement.