In Tempe, Ariz., science and science fiction meet
In a recent New York Times article, writer John Markoff tells the story of how ASU's newly launched Center for Science and the Imagination came to be – it grew out of happenstance, he writes.
In a chance meeting between novelist Neal Stephenson and ASU President Michael Crow at a technology conference last year, "Mr. Stephenson was bemoaning the rash of dystopian visions of the future being generated by science fiction writers. … He also complained that the ambitious science and technology endeavors of the 1960s had become a thing of the past, and argued that American society had lost the vision to make great leaps into the future.
"Afterward, Dr. Crow pushed back, saying the fault lay at least in part with the makers and fans of science fiction – for not thinking more ambitiously and optimistically about the future," Markoff writes.
"Back at Arizona State, Dr. Crow took steps to establish the new center with funds from the president's office. It was inaugurated on Monday in Tempe."
The New York Times article details the center's partners, such as Intel and Stephenson's online science fiction journal, Hieroglyph, and discusses goals and future plans.