Zukunftskolleg Book Club

“Taking a leaf out of Fiction Meets Science's book, we have decided to look at novels that have a scientific content, in order to reflect within the book club the interdisciplinary setup of the Zukunftskolleg”

Founded in spring 2015 at the initiative of Julia Boll (Postdoctoral Fellow/Dept. of Literature), the Zukunftskolleg Book Club meets about three times a year to read and discuss novels that look at scientific procedures which are at or beyond the fringes of the ethic conventions of science. We ask ourselves: How do we – scholars from fields as diverse as law, literature, the natural sciences, philosophy or sociology – feel about these (possible) transgressions of what scientific research may do? Are similar procedures conceivable in our fields of expertise? How far may science go for the benefit of mankind?

The interdisciplinary setup of both the Zukunftskolleg and also its book club allows for exciting discussions that approach the leading question 'What may science do?' from many different angles and perspectives.

Next Meeting:

Our next meeting will be in May/June (the date is not set yet) in the Zukunftskolleg Common Room, Y 329

We have chosen: The Darwin Poems by Emily Ballou. Link: https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/the-darwin-poems

Emily Ballou’s sensitive and beautifully imagined verse-portrait of Charles Darwin’s life, The Darwin Poems, separates the man from the legend, bringing to light the textures of his work and dreams, the noise and touch of his family and his inner doubts and questions.

In 1836 Darwin spent two months in Australia. He visited Sydney, travelled on horseback across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, visited Hobart, and stopped in King George Sound in Western Australia.

Darwin also had a dramatic personal life. He lost his mother at the age of eight. He watched his favourite daughter die and almost never spoke her name again. He survived years of illness and crippling stomach pains.

Darwin also lived with the fear that his work on the origin of the species could wreck his marriage and destroy all that society held dear. He closed the door on God and had to cope with twenty years of work nearly being eclipsed by a younger man.


What We Read So Far

Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior

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Richard Powers, Generosity: An Enhancement

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Lily King, Euphoria

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Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

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A. S. Byatt, Morpho Eugenia

Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

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Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide

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Jonathan Lethem, As She Climbed Across the Table

Simon Mawer, Mendel’s Dwarf