Frankenstein’s 200th Birthday

Chris Nowlin_03_sRGBIt is fitting that as the 200th birthday party for Mary Shelley’s stupendous novel, Frankenstein, winds down, newspapers around the world have reported the birth of the world’s first genetically edited human progeny, a couple of twins, no less. See, for example, The New York Times and The Telegraph. Evidently many members of the scientific community have professed shock, dismay, and concern about this achievement by “China’s ‘Dr Frankenstein’,” as the scientist is described in The Telegraph article. Both The New York Times and The Telegraph pieces raise the alarm that ‘designer babies’ could be down the road. This concern has been alive ever since the mid-20th century, when it became possible to cryopreserve human sperm and ova, and it will continue well into this century. Science fiction writers from the late 19th century and early 20th century, such as H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley, readily foresaw this type of future for human society. Read all about it in “200 Years After Frankenstein.”

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