As early as I can remember, science and creative writing have walked hand-in-hand. The finite evidence of observation and the galactic possibilities of abstract thought have always been a perfect marriage of opposites. I grew up so enamored by Mae Jemison and Neil Armstrong that I thought that I, too, could propel myself into the stars.
When you’re a kid, the possibilities are endless.
As life sets in and you learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, dreams become reality, but the possibilities are only as distant as the reach of your imagination. The stars don’t stop twinkling just because life gets hard. When Jodie Foster’s Dr. Ellie Arroway becomes humanity’s first interstellar ambassador in the film Contact, she stares awestruck at her final destination and quavers the following sentiment: “They should have sent a poet.”
This May, science and creative writing will once again converge, this time for a new workshop and conference in Tempe. Presented by the Consortium for Science Policy & Outcomes (CSPO) at Arizona State University, selected applicants will receive an honorarium and travel expenses to attend the two-day workshop and three-day conference at the Mission Palms Hotel, Tempe. That’s an all-expenses paid opportunity to further the scholarly foundation of science by stretching the boundaries of imagination. The application deadline is March 15 and successful applicants will be notified by April 7. For more details about the conference, as well as application procedures, click here for a PDF version of the flyer announcement. This isn’t just science fiction. This is using imagination to usher in new science fact.
Check out these videos to whet your appetite.
Michio Kaku on the BBC explaining his multiverse theory:
In the 7th grade, one of the first science books I ever perused for leisure reading was A Brief History of Time. That same year, I went on to write a theoretical science report about wormholes. It was the first and last time I would ever achieve first place in any kind of science competition, as I would soon discover that my imagination worked harder than the intellectual forces required to approach science with scholarly and logical due. Here, Charlie Rose interviews Stephen Hawking:
Finally, I am including a clip of the end of Contact. (Note: the clip volume is low. You may need to adjust your own volume controls.)
This part of the movie is pivotal because it addresses the conflicting notions of science, faith, politics, and imagination that must ultimately be resolved despite, or perhaps in spite, of their gaping differences.
By Joe Ramelo, Social Media Assistant. With CSPO text.