Gentle Readers,

For the past year, Arizona State University and best-selling science-fiction author Neal Stephenson have been working together on a plan to use science-fiction to reignite America’s ability to undertake major infrastructure projects.  You can see Neal and ASU President Michael Crow talking about this at Google’s SolveforX event, and it’s finally come to fruition with the beta launch of the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination.  This is some very cool stuff, since Science Fiction is Technology Assessment for the Rest of Us, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

I’ll let the Center’s director Ed Finn speak for himself.

Dear All,

I’d like to update you on the latest news about the proposed Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University.

Hieroglyph Site Beta Launch

The beta launch of http://hieroglyph.asu.edu/ starts this evening with an announcement by Neal Stephenson at the EG Conference in Monterey, CA. The site is a collaboration between ASU and Stephenson’s Hieroglyph group. It will bring together science fiction writers, scientists, engineers, technologists, and the general public to think big and explore radical ideas through collaborative projects.

As early supporters of ASU’s partnership with Hieroglyph I encourage you to create a user account, explore the site’s Discussion Forums and Wiki, and share the site with anyone who might be interested in the project. If you are interested in actively contributing to the site collaborations, please let me know and I will make sure your user account has contributor-level access.

The site will continue to evolve over the coming weeks and months, and we will be making our own formal announcement about the Center for Science and the Imagination and Hieroglyph later this spring. During this beta phase, please share your feedback about the project and website on the Hieroglyph forums or with me directly.
Food for Thought/Interesting News
Here are a few recent articles exploring issues related to the Center’s mission that you might enjoy.
Putting Science in the Movies: A Conversation with Contagion’s Scott Z. Burns, Ed Finn, Slate
NASA Invests In Satellites That Beam Power Down to Earth, Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science
The Space Craze That Gripped Russia Nearly 100 Years Ago, Adam Mann, Wired

Thanks as ever for your support.

Best,

Ed