Democratized Discovery (2.3)

Learn, Unlearn, Relearn: Frankenstein’s Lab

Every month on REFRAME Magazine, we tackle a Wicked Problem (a complex challenge that seems to grow worse with each attempt to solve it) and reframe it as a Wicked Opportunity (transformative visions of what is possible) by leveraging the tools within strategic foresight. We at The Futures School know that Wicked Problems are only seemingly impossible due to our outdated mindsets, and it’s up to us to Discover our assumptions and biases that preclude us from solving the problems.

Frankenstein’s lab

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the book’s young doctor and scientist describes his laboratory as “a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase” where he kept his “workshop of filthy creation.” Does this sound like Shelley is describing the siloed lairs of today’s “billionaire brainiacs?” How can we build a better “body” of social intelligence? Definition: A reference to the infamous laboratory of the lone genius Victor Frankenstein, a place where ancient alchemy and fringe experiments were practiced away from the public eye without consideration for widespread ethical ramifications or societal education.

Rick Sanchez of Rick and Morty embodies the erroneous popular archetype of the scientist as eccentric lone genius.

Democratized Discovery

We define Democratized Discovery decentralized view of scientific discovery that harnesses multiple ways of knowing, widely disseminates deep knowledge, and unearth’s novel ideas through complex emergence.


Listen to this week’s podcast to Discover the history of this wicked trope alongside Yvette and Frank.

Download the transcript here.