Science fiction can coax us to think creatively by letting us leapfrog to the distant future where we may glimpse what radical change could look like.
These stories often imply that we will survive as a species and overcome our challenges or warn us that though we may progress as a society, dangers abound. A multi-generational perspective that is scaled to encompass interplanetary habitation enlarges our understanding of our context within the universe and discourages shortsighted actions while encouraging peaceful coexistence and conservation.
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Science-fiction can make scientific theories more accessible to the general public, especially when communicated visually. Besides inspiring science related activities, science fiction has the capacity to fuel the creative impulses of all kinds of people, including architects, designers, and politicians.
Supporting these visions of social or technological progress and sharing them with others can provide a sense of purpose in itself. And helping to cultivate the dream, increases the possibility that others will find a way to get there eventually.
We may currently lack the technical or social capacity to reach our goals, but the vision of an eventual breakthrough breeds optimism and builds resolve serving as beacons of faith and moral bearings for how we live today.
Portrayals of a better future can also inspire actions that contribute to something greater than ourselves; when we emotionally invest in mythic ideas about the future, we feel empowered to actualize them. That sense of empowerment fuels purpose and fosters global communion with the rest of humanity.
One of the reasons we continue to be so fascinated with time travel is that we can go back and undo our mistakes. Then we also have a curiosity about the future.
However, every time travel story is about death. The idea of time travel is ultimately about our desire to defeat death.
The story of Dune is set in the far future, with a vast, hostile desert being the hotbed of the action. The beautiful story is filled with treachery, tragedy and an addictive drug everyone wants: Spice.
The writer borrowed heavily from Islamic culture, and created meaty characters, along with the protagonist, Paul, being a man of destiny.
Is a new method for designing technology that explores the futures that ordinary people would prefer. Design fictions are provocative and engage people, encouraging them to envision, explain and raise questions about the direction of future technology and society.
Design fictions are now being used in sectors ranging from health to defence tech forecasting, and even policy making. In this way, science fiction can be used as a tool to help design future societies and technologies, giving the public a say on it too.