The link between science fiction and science innovation and technology has been documented and argued over elsewhere online and in print. However, the link between policy and science fiction is new to me.
First, here’s the upcoming event which caught my eye (from the Science Fiction/Real Policy Book Club event page),
[ONLINE] – Science Fiction/Real Policy Book Club: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
Science fiction can have real science policy impacts, and comes rife with real-life commentary. And with such a rich cache of science fiction to choose from, we think a book club is in order.
Join us [emphasis mine] for the first installment of our Science Fiction/Real Policy book club, a partnership with Issues in Science and Technology. Our first read will be Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. Autonomous follows the story of a female pharmaceutical pirate named Jack, an anti-patent scientist who has set out to bring cheap drugs to the poor. Without giving away too many spoilers, Newitz’s tale also includes a military agent-robot love story, a quest for justice, and the danger late capitalist modernity poses to personhood.
Join us for a jam-packed evening where we’ll discuss Autonomous and the questions it raises about labor and power, robot ethics, gender, patent law, the pharmaceutical industry, geopolitics, and much more.
Editor and Manager, Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University [ASU]
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, I-MAK
Jun. 9, 2021 [Wednesday]
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Online Only Webcast link
Who is ‘us’?
The hosting organization is New America (newamerica.org). If you click on their About tab/button, you’ll find this,
We are dedicated to renewing the promise of America by continuing the quest to realize our nation’s highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create.
Amongst other programs, New America is participating in Future Tense,
Future Tense is a partnership between New America, Arizona State University, and Slate magazine to explore emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy. Central to the partnership is a series of events that take in-depth, provocative looks at issues that, while little-understood today, will dramatically reshape the policy debates of the coming decade.
It took me a while but I finally realized that the book club is a Future Tense initiative.
As for I-MAK, it’s an organization devoted to improving access to medicines globally and amongst other activities, solving the drug patent problem.