Stitching Together Creativity and Responsibility: Interpreting Frankenstein Across Disciplines

Megan K. Halpern, Jathan Sadowski, Joey Eschrich, Ed Finn, David H. Guston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article explores Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an “object of care” for use in examining the relationship between creativity and responsibility in the sciences and beyond. Through three short sketches from different disciplinary lenses—literature, science and technology studies, and feminist studies—readers get a sense of the different ways scholars might consider Shelley’s text as an object of care. Through an analysis and synthesis of these three sketches, the authors illustrate the value of such an object in thinking about broad cultural issues. The article acts as a kind of boundary object by creating distinct, yet overlapping narratives from an object that is owned by many social worlds. The three sketches reveal Frankenstein as a thoughtful consideration about what it means to care for, or fail to care for, one’s creation, rather than as a cautionary tale about the evils of scientific hubris. Although infrastructures at universities often prevent interdisciplinary dialogue, the article concludes that purposeful boundary objects created around objects of care like Frankenstein can help build bridges and create shared meanings for new interdisciplinary spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of Science, Technology and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Frankenstein
  • boundary objects
  • interdisciplinarity
  • objects of care
  • science fiction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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