To the Best of Our Knowledge

CSI and Imagining Possible Futures on Public Radio

This article originally appeared on ASU News

Ed Finn, director of ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination, and an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English, was featured on the public radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge, in an episode titled “Imagining Possible Worlds,” about science fiction and visions of the future.

“Let’s use the nightmares and the dreams together to come up with a roadmap to the world that we really want to live in,” said Finn, responding to a question about the center’s “thoughtfully optimistic” approach to the future that seeks a middle ground between sunny utopias and gloomy, apocalyptic dystopias.

Finn also discussed the center’s Project Hieroglyph, which teams up science fiction authors with scientists, engineers and other researchers to create ambitious visions of the near-future, grounded in real science and technology. The project, according to Finn, strives to create “new icons … big ideas that could drive lots of different people to work on a problem collectively.”

To the Best of Our Knowledge is produced by Wisconsin Public Radio and distributed to hundreds of public radio stations nationwide by Public Radio International. Other guests on the “Imagining Possible Worlds” program included authors Kim Stanley Robinson, Junot Díaz and Samuel R. Delaney, as well as Gates McFadden, a cast member on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

To listen to the full program or download it for free, visit To the Best of Our Knowledge. You can also download an extended interview with Finn to hear more about the Center for Science and the Imagination, Project Hieroglyph and thoughtfully optimistic visions of the future.