Tuesday night, Zocalo Public Square hosted a conversation lead by Annalee Newiz with Lawrence Krauss and Neal Stephenson regarding science, science fiction and optimism. While the evening was a “light” discussion of these topics, it was a fascinating evening.
The important takeaways for me are science and technology are not the same thing. People, including me, always think of the two as one in the same but the goals of science are not necessarily the pushing technology forward. Science is a very creative field were the ideas or sometimes more important than the outcomes. In Krauss’ opinion. Science is far more imaginative than science fiction. The human mind cannot reach the endless potential of reality. I’m not sure if I agree with the last point. We know so little about the human brain that there is no to quantify its potential.
Luckily for us Zocalo records its events. And post them online. Please enjoy the lively conversation at the link below.
Zócalo Public Square :: Video Archive.
I am fortunate to live in the LA area where a lot of diverse events occur every day of the week. Tonight, there is a discussion on whether Science Fiction Revolutionize Science with Neal Stephenson and Lawrence Krauss at MOCA. Check back tomorrow for my recap of the event.
Until then, read Lawrence Krauss’s forward from the new anthology Hieroglyp at Zocalo Public Square:
Science fiction shares with science a most important driver: a fascination with the possibilities of existence. As a theoretical physicist, my motivation for studying the universe has always been the wonder of what might be possible rather than what is practical. This makes me particularly sympathetic to the challenges facing science fiction writers. After all, perhaps the most significant difference between science and science fiction is that the former explores what is possible in our universe, and the latter what might be possible in any universe.