The Scientific Imagination: Science Fiction and Innovation – Wednesday 11th September at 6pm

This talk asked how science fiction continues to influence science, and vice versa?

The relationship between science and science fiction is more important than ever, as the twentieth-century has developed into the twenty-first. Many of the fantasies of Golden Age science fiction and onwards, including Star Trek, have become reality. In response, science fiction has become more literary, artistic, and fantastic.

Two_costumed_Tenth_Doctors Using examples of recent scientific advances, such as the ‘sonic screwdriver’ and the ‘tractor beam’ (developed at the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews), Anna McFarlane discussed how science fiction could work together with science to promote innovation and thus giving greater understanding of scientific progress.

And by communicating in very different ways, science fiction can give us the vision to imagine scientific progress, the words to explain it, and the analogies to understand.