Television and film make detectives and forensic scientists into superheroes. But how much can you really tell from a grainy video, fingerbone, or scrap of fabric? How accurate are the super-science labs portrayed in shows like Bones and CSI? Panelists separate the science from the fiction in film, TV, and video game crime procedurals.
In 2016, Amitav Ghosh wrote: “Climate change is like death, no one wants to talk about it.” But climate change is an unavoidable fact of the near future, which any novel set in the next century must take into account. Even if your novel is not a story about climate change, changing temperatures and rising… Continue reading Considering Climate Change in Your Worldbuilding
Space law is a real, existing field of law, but it’s only beginning to touch on the complexity of property rights in space. The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies is the international treaty that addresses these issues,… Continue reading Real Estate in Space
The Internet of Power, Pat Bahn As the fossil energy economy begins to exceed climatological reserves and a climate emergency is occurring, the potential for a new era of smart energy production can expand. Renewables driven by subsurface, surface energy allows the growth of non-variable cost structures in power generation. An era of SuperPower will… Continue reading Science Talk 11: Space Exploration
What’s New in the World of Dinosaurs? — Tom Holtz Their age might long be over, but new information is discovered about the dinosaurs every year. Paleontologist Thomas Holtz discusses the latest discoveries about dinosaurs, and what they mean for our understanding of these magnificent animals. Navigating the Genome: The Final Frontier — Doug Dluzen,… Continue reading Science Talk 6: Dinosaurs and Genomes
Why do writers bother assigning gender to AIs? Would an AI accept the gender we assign it, and would it bother performing gender the way we often see in fiction? Do we ever see AIs performing masculinity in the same way we seem them performing femininity? Panelists will discuss how various writers have explored the… Continue reading Artificial Intelligence and Gender
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) leads efforts to find and track near-Earth objects—asteroids and comets that can come near Earth—and to address the asteroid impact hazard. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), targeted for launch in late November, is NASA’s first test mission of an asteroid deflection technique. Join panelists from the PDCO and… Continue reading Planetary Defense at NASA
What are the cultural and social boons and banes that might come from a growing technological ability to change your physical appearance? What are the implications for identity? For fashion? How might governments, science fictional or otherwise, react to developments in body alterations and/or consciousness if less tied to a single physical form? Will we… Continue reading Nobody Looks Like Themselves Anymore
Mario Livio A fresh biography of Galileo Galilei which puts his scientific discoveries in context. Disturbed by rampant science denial in America that has only intensified in recent years, I researched the life, ideas, and actions of this brilliant man who encountered similar challenges centuries ago. The result is a fascinating biography filled with lessons relevant for today—whether… Continue reading Science Talk 3: Galileo and the Science Deniers
What is “social science fiction?” How have authors used ideas from “soft” sciences like sociology, anthropology, and linguistics to craft convincing future scenarios, telling fascinating stories while shedding light on current human problems?