Imagining Science and Technology 200 Years after Frankenstein
'It compels us to feel that which we perceive, and to imagine that which we know'. Percy Bysshe Shelley
In 2018, the Humanities Research Centre will be looking at the humanities’ engagement (and failure to engage) with the accelerating fields of science and technology. The questions we will ask concern our understanding and imagining of the implications of our own rapid scientific and technological development. Do we understand the motivation for a billion-dollar medical science industry, for example, one that promises more and more radical forms of genetic engineering? How have artificial intelligence and robotics redefined what it means to be, and to act, human? To what extent is the development of science and technology culturally and ideologically inflected?
Does science and technology––should science and technology––contribute to social equity and justice? Where are we in the debate about the mutually abrasive existence of ‘two cultures’? What control do we currently exercise, individually and collectively, over scientific development? How have literature and film, the visual and musical arts, absorbed and informed the advancement of science and technology? What price do we pay––economically, psychologically, culturally––for our accelerated scientific literacy and technological sophistication?
The HRC looks forward to engaging hard scientists, as well as humanists, social scientists, writers and artists, in its conferences and debates and as Visiting Fellows.