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FrankensteinAnnotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds$
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Mary Shelley, David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262533287

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262533287.001.0001

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The Bitter Aftertaste of Technical Sweetness

The Bitter Aftertaste of Technical Sweetness

Chapter:
(p.247) The Bitter Aftertaste of Technical Sweetness
Source:
Frankenstein
Author(s):

Heather E. Douglas

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262533287.003.0012

When completing his creation, Victor Frankenstein is in the thrall of technical sweetness, which is the allure of the pieces of an intellectual puzzle fitting neatly together. Scientists working at Los Alamos experienced a similar excitement and blindness to the full implications of their work, and they reacted similarly to Victor, bearing a burden of responsibility for their work into the post-WWII context. Frankenstein thus serves as a useful parable for scientists and engineers, showing the difficulty of looking past immediate technical success to the broader implications of their work.

Keywords:   Technical Sweetness, Los Alamos, Trinity Test, Scientific Responsibility, Nuclear Weapons

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