Technology, Translation and Storytelling at the AZCALL 2014 Conference

The Arizona Computer-Assisted Language Learning Conference unites language learning experts throughout the southwestern U.S. to discuss new ideas, share research outcomes, brainstorm and network. We interviewed a few participants in the 2014 conference to get their ideas on how different factors like technology, translation, storytelling and culture shape language learning.

Science Fiction TV Dinner: Red Dwarf Highlights

Check out the discussion that followed the Science Fiction TV Dinner screening of the cult classic science fiction comedy Red Dwarf. Steven Desch, an astrophysicist and professor at ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, and Don and Alleen Nilsen, ASU emeritus professors and co-founders of the International Society for Humor Studies, join CSI director Ed Finn to discuss whether or not humor and science fiction make a good mix. This event was co-sponsored by ASU’s Project Humanities.

Science Fiction TV Dinner: Star Trek Highlights

Check out the discussion that followed the Science Fiction TV Dinner screening of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Evolution,” about space exploration and synthetic life. Phil Plait, an astronomer and blogger for Slate, and Karmella Haynes, a synthetic biology researcher at ASU’s School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, joined CSI director Ed Finn to discuss the ethics of synthetic life and the surprising scientific realism of this particular Next Generation episode. This event was co-sponsored by SpaceVision, the largest student-organized space conference in the U.S.

Science Fiction TV Dinner: Quantum Leap Highlights

Check out the discussion following the screening of the Quantum Leap episode “The Wrong Stuff,” about the early days of the Space Race and using animals to test spaceflight safety. Juan José Diaz Infante, artist and mission director for the Mexican Space Collective, and Micah Lande, Assistant Professor of Engineering at ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation, join CSI director Ed Finn to discuss imagination, ethics, STEM education, DIY satellite launches and more.

ASTC 2013 Keynote – A Conversation with Neal Stephenson

The Association of Science-Technology Centers, a global organization of science centers and museums dedicated to increasing public engagement with science, hosted their annual conference for 2013 in Albuquerque, NM. Neal Stephenson and Ed Finn participated in a keynote dialog on October 21 about Project Hieroglyph, founded by Neal and headquartered at ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination.

During the conversation, Neal and Ed discuss the history and mission of Project Hieroglyph and Neal’s Tall Tower project, the power of storytelling to inspire people about science and technology, and the ongoing tension between dystopian thinking and Project Hieroglyph’s quest for thoughtfully optimistic visions of the future. The conversation was moderated by Alex Zwissler, Executive Director and CEO of the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, CA.