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Science Museum

Join us for an examination of the probability and ethics of creating truly artificial life.

Just how close are we to creating fully synthetic complex lifeforms, and will this be achieved by biological or digital means?

It’s 200 years since Mary Shelley published the seminal novel Frankenstein, and humankind has been obsessed with the idea of creating life ever since. Will we ever produce truly artificial life, and more importantly, should we? Or like Victor Frankenstein, is there a danger of playing God and going too far?

At our Frankenstein-themed March Lates, we’ve assembled a panel of expert scientists and researchers to discuss these challenging questions: 

  • Murray Shanahan: Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College and scientific advisor for the hit movie Ex Machina
  • Susan Stepney: Professor of Computer Science at the University of York, and vice president of the International Society for Artificial Life
  • Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg: artist, designer and co-author of Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature and Grow Your Own… Life After Nature
  • Ben Russell: lead curator of our acclaimed 2017 exhibition Robots: The 500 Year Quest to Make Machines Human
  • The discussion will be chaired by journalist and New York Times-bestselling author of Cure and Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World’s First Computer, Jo Marchant

Further speakers will be joining them on the night.

Scheduled dates