Science Fiction and the Future of Science

Discover the new podcast series from the Centre for Science Futures, where we unravel the visionary minds of science fiction authors to gain insights into how science might shape our future.

Science Fiction and the Future of Science

This podcast is produced by the ISC think tank Centre for Science Futures in partnership with Nature.

What is the impact of science fiction and does it play a role in shaping our future?

Scientists and researchers increasingly value science fiction for its contributions to anticipating future scenarios. As part of its mission to explore where changes in science and science systems are leading us, the Centre for Science Futures sat down with six leading science fiction authors to seek their perspectives on how science can meet the many societal challenges we face in the next decades. The podcast is in partnership with Nature.

Over six episodes, this series explores the authors’ creative processes, including their sources of inspiration for crafting realistic future scenarios, as well as their perspectives on various aspects of science and technology, such as climate change, food security, and the implications of artificial intelligence (AI).

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Episode 1: Science as a Political and an Ethical Project

Listen to Kim Stanley Robinson as he discusses the power of science fiction in inspiring real-word science solutions and the political and ethical dimensions of science as a catalyst for change.

Hourglass on rocks

Episode 2: Long-Term Thinking in Policymaking

Listen to Karen Lord, an award-winning writer, as she shares insights on lessons from the COVID pandemic, critiques short-term thinking, and explores literature’s timeless impact.

Episode 3: Data, Narrative, and Transdisciplinarity

Listen to Vandana Singh, a transdisciplinary scholar and physicist, as she talks about the limitations of data and how institutions can support more transdisciplinary projects.

Episode 4: Lessons from an Eco-Dystopia

Listen to Fernanda Trías, award-winning writer and instructor of creative writing, as she talks about how to bring together the arts and the sciences.

Episode 5: Values and Senses in Artificial Intelligence 

Listen to Qiufan Chen, award-winning Chinese speculative fiction writer, as he talks about agency and social responsibility in science as a human endeavour.

Episode 6: Leveraging Digital Advancements for the Future

Listen to Cory Doctorow, author who was recently inducted in to Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, as he talks about trust in science.

Paul Shrivastava, Professor of Management and Organizations at Pennsylvania State University, hosted the podcast series. He specialises in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. The podcast is also done in collaboration with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego.

The project was overseen by Mathieu Denis and carried by Dong Liu, from the Centre for Science Futures, the ISC’s think tank.

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