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National Library of Medicine Adds New Education Resources to Online Exhibition, Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature


The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, has enriched its popular online exhibition, Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature (//, with new educational resources.

Launched as a physical exhibition at NLM in 1997, Frankenstein still consistently ranks in the top 10 of the Library's online exhibitions. It looks at the world of Mary Shelley, who wrote the legendary Frankenstein novel, and examines the story's influence on popular culture and its illumination of the blurred, uncertain boundaries of "acceptable" science. The exhibition offers education resources under two new sections, "Higher Education Module" and "Lesson Plans:" 

  • The "Higher Education Module" section features The Following Frankenstein: Mary Shelley, the Monster, and Medical Science, authored by Susan E. Lederer, PhD, Robert Turell Professor of the History of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • The "Lesson Plans" section presents Electricity, Frankenstein, and the Spark of Life and "It's Alive!": Frankenstein and the Limits of Medical Research, middle- and high-school lesson plans respectively.

These education resources provide instructional templates that present and use exhibition materials to engage students' interest in and foster their analysis of the enduring Frankenstein myth and metaphor with historical and scientific perspectives. Educators are welcome to review and use the module or lesson plans in whole or in part, as appropriate for their students' interests, levels and academic goals.



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