Sunday, April 08, 2007

Douglas Adams Memorial Debate 2007

The 2007 Douglas Adams Memorial Debate will take place on Thursday 3rd May at the Apollo West End, London. It is part of the 6th Annual International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film. It is subtitled "From Star Wars to the Battle of Ideas - Is science fiction good for public debate?".

Comedian and writer Mark Stevenson will get the ball rolling with a stand-up routine.
Science fiction often tells us more about social attitudes and anxieties than science itself, and can be a spur for debate about everything from genetics to consciousness, from war to climate change. Sci-fi can move people to engage in science, inspiring young people to become scientists, and encouraging the general public to debate the consequences of science for society. It can also frighten us, making us wary of new technology and its unintended consequences. Is this all to the good, or do

Writers and filmmakers often take their inspiration from science and ask 'what if…?', but when it comes down to it, they have few qualms about ditching scientific accuracy in favour of gripping narrative. Does it matter how much actual science gets into sci-fi, as long as it gets people talking? Do writers and directors have a responsibility to make their science accurate?

Should 'proper' sci-fi deal with hard science rather than 'issues'? Or should we stop worrying and just enjoy it?

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