Speculations, Fabulations, Incantations: Science Fiction, Contemporary Futurology and How to Change the World
Dr. Julia Grillmayr (Kunstuniversität Linz)
“We want a good story, but also a good conversation about the ethical and social dimensions of the technology and science.” Joey Eschrich from the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University is teaching engineer students how to write a Science Fiction Prototype, a “hopeful, ambitious, technically grounded vision of the future”. SF prototyping, developed by futurist Brian David Johnson, is part of a growing trend of Science Fiction inspired futurology and futurism. While these fields share a common history and always have had several common goals, it can be observed that scenario thinking methods that use SF as a tool are currently booming. The resulting texts typically read like Science Fiction short stories, but are written and received in a different context: Think tanks initiate public Calls for Stories, universities integrate speculative scenario sketching in their teaching and publish anthologies of science-based future visions, futurists and SF writers work alongside in projects for community organizations, private companies as well as the military. Dr. Julia Grillmayr has visited these projects in the USA and analyzed them from a cultural studies perspective. On Wednesday, October 20, at 6 p.m., she will present her work and talk about the contribution science fiction can make to futurology.