About the Center for Science and the Imagination

The mission

Igniting collective imagination for a better future.

What we do

At the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, we create inspiring, inclusive, technically grounded visions of the future by bringing together artists, authors, and educators with scientists, technologists, policy thinkers, and community members. We publish collections of science fiction, nonfiction, and art; lead informal and formal education initiatives around science, technology, culture, and society; host public events and forums and create podcasts and videos about science fiction, media arts, and possible futures; conduct interdisciplinary research about collaboration and imagination, and more.

Our projects have been supported by NASA, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Intel Corporation, Google, the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, Ingka Group, the Spencer Foundation, and the World Bank.

We have collaborated with organizations including the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Slate magazine, New America, the Society for Scholarly Publishing, National Novel Writing Month, the Science Fiction Research Association, Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, the MIT Press, the Mexican Space Collective, CoFUTURES at the University of Oslo, Creative Nonfiction magazine, the National Informal STEM Education Network, the ClimateWorks Foundation, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

  View our Annual Reports

Why we do it

We believe that the most significant challenge facing humanity today is that too few people feel empowered to imagine their own futures. The failures of imagination that occur when diverse voices are not included underwrite our systemic inability to confront existential challenges such as climate change, economic inequality, and injustice. To navigate the challenges of the twenty-first century, we need a collective sense of agency and responsibility towards the future that is both inclusive and inspiring.

Imagination is the ignition system for anticipation, empathy, and resilience. Despite the central importance of imagination to individual cognition and collective action, we tend to ignore it until it goes missing. Failures of imagination, often catastrophic, remind us that imagination is not just an abstract concept but a fundamental tool for making change in the world. We practice and cultivate imagination individually and collectively, but that is only possible when we feel permitted to do so. The Center for Science and the Imagination seeks to model imagination in action, to see and celebrate imagination in all its forms, and to inspire imagination everywhere.

Where we are

The Center for Science and the Imagination is headquartered on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. Our mailing address is:

PO Box 876511
Tempe, AZ 85287-6511

We acknowledge and pay respects to the Akimel O’odham, Yavapai, Pee Posh, and other Indigenous Nations and people that have inhabited this land for centuries. Their care, keeping, and imagination of these lands allow us to be here today.

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