Hieroglyph Book: September 9

Hieroglyph Book: September 9

Check out our anthology of techno-optimistic science fiction and fact, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, published by HarperCollins.

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  • SciFiTV Podcast: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Event date: October 8, 2014
    Location: ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Speakers: Bridget Kromhout, tech operations engineer; Astrid Atkinson, senior engineering manager, Google; Dawn Gilpin, associate professor of public relations and social media, ASU; Nina Miller, design strategist, Center for Science and the Imagination

    SciFiTV Podcast: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Event date: October 8, 2014
    Location: ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Episode: “Intervention” (Season 5)
    Speakers: Bridget Kromhout, tech operations engineer; Astrid Atkinson, senior engineering manager, Google; Dawn Gilpin, associate professor of public relations and social media, ASU; Nina Miller, design strategist, Center for Science and the Imagination

  • SciFiTV Podcast: House, MD

    Event date: September 30, 2014
    Location: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
    Episode: “Cane and Able” (Season 3)
    Speakers: Cathy Seiler, scientific liaison, ASU Biodesign Institute; Kenneth S. Ramos, associate vice president of precision health services, Arizona Health Sciences Center; Joey Eschrich, editor and program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination

    SciFiTV Podcast: House, MD

    Event date: September 30, 2014
    Location: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
    Episode: “Cane and Able” (Season 3)
    Speakers: Cathy Seiler, scientific liaison, ASU Biodesign Institute; Kenneth S. Ramos, associate vice president of precision health services, Arizona Health Sciences Center; Joey Eschrich, editor and program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination

  • Recap: Science Fiction TV Dinner, Buffy

    What happened The Center for Science and the Imagination crew hosted a Science Fiction TV Dinner series event at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism centered…

    Recap: Science Fiction TV Dinner, Buffy

    What happened

    The Center for Science and the Imagination crew hosted a Science Fiction TV Dinner series event at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism centered around an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After Buffy’s mother dies, Buffy is questioning her identity as a vampire slayer and her ability to love. Buffy goes to a sacred location in the desert with Giles so that Giles can perform a ritual to recreate Buffy’s guide. Meanwhile, Spike receives a “Buffybot” robot double of Buffy. Her friends are unable to tell that this slightly quirky version of Buffy isn’t the real Buffy. This upsets the real Buffy that her friends could be fooled by a robot version.

    After the screening of the episode, CSI’s graphic design strategist Nina Miller had a conversation with Bridget Kromhout, operations engineer at DramaFever; Astrid Atkinson, site reliability engineer at Google; and Dawn Gilpin, associate professor in ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

     

    Analyses/Quotes

    • “What we see here is that ‘identity’ is a social construct… Our identity is not just a set of descriptors, it’s how we interact with people.” –Dawn
    • “[Buffybot] does not have an understanding of what actually constitutes her make up. She doesn’t know that she’s a robot.” –Bridget
    • “Self-perception can really differ from reality.” –Astrid
    • “We have very little ability to draw the line between technology and what is actually human once our technology has human characteristics (for example, Siri).” –Astrid

    You should come next time

    The next event hosted by the Center for Science and the Imagination will be a Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future book launch event hosted in collaboration with Changing Hands Bookstore at the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday 10/22 at 7pm. This event will include a discussion from several of the Hieroglyph authors followed by a book signing. Tickets are $27.99 + tax for one seat and one copy of Hieroglyph ($5 for one additional seat). Please purchase your ticket(s) to RSVP at Changing Hands Bookstore website.

  • House MD, Sept 30, 2014

    Recap: Science Fiction TV Dinner, House, M.D.

    What happened At this Science Fiction TV Dinner event on September 30 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, we screened “Cane and Able,” of…

    Recap: Science Fiction TV Dinner, House, M.D.

    What happened

    At this Science Fiction TV Dinner event on September 30 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, we screened “Cane and Able,” of the hit medical drama House, M.D. In the episode, House’s 7 year old patient was experiencing vivid hallucinations of alien abductions. But in reality, the boy was a genetic chimera with two distinct sets of DNA in his body—a condition that stemmed from his mother’s in vitro fertilization, when his embryo absorbed another implanted embryo in the womb. Once House and his team were able to remove all of the “foreign” cells in the boy’s brain, he was cured and his terrifying science fictional hallucinations ended.

    After the screening, CSI’s Joey Eschrich moderated a conversation with Dr. Cathy Seiler, scientific liaison at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, and Dr. Ken Ramos, associate vice president of Precision Health Services and professor of medicine at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona.

    Insights from the Conversation

    • “[This episode of House, M.D.] is a quiet, almost invisible example of science fiction that shows us a vision of what the future of medicine could look like…” – Joey Eschrich, paraphrasing Cathy Seiler
    • “Chimerism…is when you have 2 different sets of DNA in your body…. You look like one person from the outside, but in some ways you are two people on the inside. You will be most familiar with this concept form organ transplants.” – Cathy Seiler
    • “Every single patient encounter that you go through [as a doctor] involves a great deal of detective investigation…. One thing we are trying to inspire medical students to do…is to take full advantage of the tools that are available to you to investigate diseases and find cures.” – Ken Ramos

    Join us next time!

    Our next Science Fiction TV Dinner event will take place on Wednesday, October 8 at 5:00pm at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. We’ll watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Intervention”, featuring the Buffybot, Buffy’s robotic doppelganger, then have a conversation with social scientists and technologists about identity, technology, and how fantasy and storytelling can help us understand who we are and where we’re going.

    The event is free and dinner will be served! Learn more and register today at http://buffytvdinner.eventbrite.com.

  • Project Hieroglyph on Slate’s Future Tense Channel

    Project Hieroglyph on Slate’s Future Tense Channel

    Slate magazine’s Future Tense channel is running a series of stories inspired by and excerpted from Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, exploring about the connections between science fiction storytelling,…

    Project Hieroglyph on Slate’s Future Tense Channel

    Slate magazine’s Future Tense channel is running a series of stories inspired by and excerpted from Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, exploring about the connections between science fiction storytelling, scientific discovery, public policy, and real-world innovation. Check back to this post for updates as more pieces are published!

    Elizabeth Bear, “Story: Covenant”

    Joey Eschrich, “Forget the Tricorder: Why gadgets aren’t the coolest part of science fiction”

    Ed Finn, “The Inspiration Drought: Why our science fiction needs new dreams”

    Lee Konstantinou, “Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality”

    Charlie Jane Anders, “Story: The Day It All Ended”

    Deji Bryce Olukotun, “Meeting My Protagonist: When I wrote a novel about a Nigerian space program, I didn’t expect it to be so close to the truth”

    Patric M. Verrone, “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow: How Futurama‘s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare”

    Annalee Newitz, “The Dystopian City and Urban Policy”

    Ramez Naam, “Don’t Diss Dystopias: Sci-fi’s warning tales are as important as its optimistic stories”

    Neal Stephenson, “Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation”

    Joelle Renstrom, “Almost Humane: What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war”

  • Book Comment: Exploring Science through Science Fiction

    Book Comment: Exploring Science through Science Fiction

    One of the projects we’re working on at the Center for Science and the Imagination is an effort to trace the lines of communication between science…

    Book Comment: Exploring Science through Science Fiction

    One of the projects we’re working on at the Center for Science and the Imagination is an effort to trace the lines of communication between science and science fiction. We know the two disciplines talk to each other, that they influence one another, and that both inspire new generations of authors and scientists. So what we are trying to do is map their interactions, and perhaps shed some light on the subsequent sequence of causes and effects.

    One of the ways we’re investigating this is by compiling a database of inventions or innovations described in works of science fiction and their corresponding real world technologies, the most worn-out example of which is the Star Trek communicator inspiring the invention of the mobile phone. But did you know that Ray Bradbury predicted earbuds, or that the TASER was inspired by a story about an adventurer on safari with an electric rifle? However, we are not the only ones interested in this question of uncovering the science in science fiction.

    Barry B. Luokkala’s Exploring Science through Science Fiction (Springer, 2014) is a new style of textbook, meant to bring science fiction enthusiasts some of the basic physics behind their favorite films and television series. While clearly aimed at the undergraduate level, the book touches on some bleeding edge avenues of research, such as the possibility of faster-than-light travel, stable wormholes, and teleportation through groundbreaking particle physics.

    The chapters are organized not according to a linear progression of science content, but rather according to major themes in science fiction, and the examples and exercises given at the end of each chapter test the reader’s understanding of the material while putting them in a familiar science fiction context. Perhaps one of the most useful features of the book is a thorough set of appendices of films cited, with information about the science concepts illustrated therein.

    While certainly not rigorous enough to replace any introductory physics texts, Exploring Science through Science Fiction would surely be a welcome, entertaining, and thought-provoking addition to any discussion on the science behind science fiction—and it will serve as a great resource in our efforts at CSI to map the structure of science fiction and its scientific roots.

  • Author Margaret Atwood to discuss creative writing, science at ASU

    Author Margaret Atwood to discuss creative writing, science at ASU

    This article originally appeared in ASU News. Internationally renowned novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood will visit Arizona State University this November to discuss the relationship…

    Author Margaret Atwood to discuss creative writing, science at ASU

    This article originally appeared in ASU News.

    Internationally renowned novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood will visit Arizona State University this November to discuss the relationship between art and science, and the importance of creative writing and imagination for addressing social and environmental challenges.

    Atwood’s visit will mark the launch of the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative, a new collaborative venture at ASU among the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, the Center for Science and the Imagination and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Atwood, author of the MaddAddam trilogy of novels that have become central to the emerging literary genre of climate fiction, or “CliFi,” will offer the inaugural lecture for the initiative on Nov. 5.

    “We are proud to welcome Margaret Atwood, one of the world’s most celebrated living writers, to ASU and engage her in these discussions around climate, science and creative writing,” said Jewell Parker Rhodes, founding artistic director for the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and the Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University. “A poet, novelist, literary critic and essayist, Ms. Atwood epitomizes the creative and professional excellence our students aspire to achieve.”

    Focusing in particular on CliFi, the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative will explore how imaginative skills can be harnessed to create solutions to climate challenges, and question whether and how creative writing can affect political decisions and behavior by influencing our social, political and scientific imagination.

    “ASU is a leader in exploring how creativity and the imagination drive the arts, sciences, engineering and humanities,” said Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination. “The Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative will use the thriving CliFi genre to ask the hard questions about our cultural relationship to climate change and offer compelling visions for sustainable futures.”

    The multidisciplinary Initiative will bring together researchers, artists, writers, decision-makers and the public to engage in research projects, teaching activities and events at ASU and beyond. The three ASU programs behind the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative have a track record for academic and public engagement around innovative programs, including the Sustainability Solutions Festival; Emerge; and the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference.

    “Imagining how the future could unfold in a climatically changing world is key to making good policy and governance decisions today,” said Manjana Milkoreit, a postdoctoral fellow with the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. “We need to know more about the nature of imagination, its relationship to scientific knowledge and the effect of cultural phenomena such as CliFi on our imaginative capabilities and, ultimately, our collective ability to create a safe and prosperous future.”

    For more information, please visit climateimagination.asu.edu or join the Twitter conversation at #climatefutures.

    Media Contact: Jason Franz, jason.franz@asu.edu
    (480) 727-4072