Archives For Imagination

Author Information: Joshua Earle, Virginia Tech,

Earle, Joshua. “Visioneering a Better Future: The Hieroglyph Project, STS, and the Future of Science and Technology.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 12 (2014): 67-83.

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O n October 2nd, 2014 authors, scientists, policy experts and journalists gathered to ask how the future of science and technology intersects with fiction and storytelling. Future Tense—a partnership between the New America Foundation, Arizona State University and Slate magazine—and Issues in Science and Technology hosted “Can We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future?” at the National Academies in Washington D.C. Inspired by Neal Stephenson’s 2011 piece “Innovation Starvation” and the resultant Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future anthology, the panelists tackled questions from the ethics of robot babysitters and drones, to who will get to imagine for the human race, how neuroscience might improve lives and the ethics therein, surveillance and privacy concerns, and the place of fiction in tackling wicked problems. I will take you through brief description of the Hieroglyph project, then introduce each of the panels with embedded videos, and then discuss some of the issues raised, some criticism of the discussions (including reactions of some of the people participating in the online discussion during the event), as well as identifying places where Science Technology and Society scholars may have be able to leverage our own expertise to affect some beneficial change.  Continue Reading…