Scared Stiff by Science

Widely regarded as the first science fiction novel, Frankenstein was written by an 18-year-old woman as part of a horror story contest. Her story immortalized the "mad scientist" in the collective consciousness, and tapped into the fear of scientific and technological advances that could pose an existential threat to mankind.

The novel not only gave us an iconic monster, but also cracked open a pervasive human anxiety: “that the power of reason had a compelling and deeply worrisome dark side to it.”

In honor of the novel’s bicentennial, a series of events at Johns Hopkins honors Mary Shelley’s timeless tale.


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