From Star Wars to the Battle of Ideas

Mark Brake and Neil Hook are key speakers at The Douglas Adams Memorial Debate this year.  The debate will take place at The Apollo Cinemas in London’s West End on May 3 at 7pm.

Featured as part of Sci-Fi London 6, the International Film Festival of Science Fiction Film, the debate is staged with the help of the Institute of Ideas.

The programme taster reads:

From Star Wars to the Battle of Ideas Is science fiction good for public debate?

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?

Speakers include:
Professor Mark Brake, Centre for Astronomy and
Science Education, University of Glamorgan
Rev. Neil Hook, Centre for Astronomy and
Science Education, University of Glamorgan
Dr. Geeta Nargund, consultant in Reproductive
Medicine, St. George’s Hospital, London
David Perks, Head of physics, Graveney School;
author, What Is Science Education For?
Dr Lizzie Burns, Hollywood Maths and Science
Consulting
Stephen Foulger, curator of The Science
Museum’s ‘Science of Aliens’
Mark Stevenson – Writer and comedian

Curated and chaired by Dolan Cummings 



5 comments


    Sue Burnett

    April 16, 2007

    It’s on May the 3rd – what a shame it’s not a day later (given the ‘Star Wars’ theme)

    prof

    April 16, 2007

    Hadn’t thought of that! If only

    theagingfanboy

    April 16, 2007

    Ouch!!

    The Hon Aubrey Wilson

    April 16, 2007

    I have had an interest in Science Fiction since I was in primary school, and I wonder why this is? Just what is attractive about it? Afterall, it is not usually an idyllic environment.

    The Hon Aubrey Wilson

    April 16, 2007

    I have the DVDs of several old favourites: SuperCar, Fireball XL5 and Space Patrol – all puppet drama with plenty of hilarious special effects. I can’t begin to imagine the fun they must have had in making these programmes.

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