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Science And Science Fiction – Robert Scherrer

Date: Thu. September 27th, 2007, 4:15 pm-5:15 pm
Location: Rockefeller 301

I will explore the similarities and differences between the process of writing science fiction and the process of “producing” science, specifically theoretical physics. What are the ground rules for introducing unproven new ideas in science fiction, and how do they differ from the corresponding rules in physics? How predictive is science fiction? (For that matter, how predictive is theoretical physics?) I will also contrast the way in which information is presented in science fiction, as opposed to its presentation in scientific papers, and I will examine the relative importance of ideas (as opposed to the importance of the way in which these ideas are presented). Finally, I will discuss whether a background as a research scientist provides any advantage in writing science fiction.

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