Research & Studies

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Science Fiction: Coping with a Complex Future – Workshop by the Polányi Center of iASK

Coping with a complex world buffeted by interacting global climate change and socio-political uncertainty is a daunting task that requires cooperation between social and natural science. Such cooperation has proven difficult to achieve in practice. A major impediment to cooperation among various natural and social scientists is the phenomenon known as epistemological trespassing. Science fiction is a literary genre in which epistemological trespassing is not only allowed, it is encouraged and sometimes even demanded. This conference explores the potential for positive outcomes resulting from interactions between social and natural scientists, mediated by writers and publishers of science fiction.


Program and Lecturers:

10:00-11:00 Peter Watts: “Attack of the Hope Police: Delusional Optimism at the End of the World?”


11:30-12:00 Thomas Filk: “Science and Fiction – an (un)equal relationship?”


12:00-12:30 Daniel Brooks: “Biological Themes in Science Fiction Classics: Standing the Test of Time”


2:30-3:00 György Csepeli: “Can Machines Make Love?”



3:00-3:30 Jody Jensen: The Complexities of the Relationship between Sci-fi and Human Realities


3:30-4:00 Dezső Boda: “Complexity in Nature and Society”