Science fiction writers can be eerily prescient. Consider what John Brunner got right about our world in 2010, as described in his 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar: a world shaken up by terrorist attacks and school shootings, the near-abandonment of Detroit, a zeal for upgrading everything, including our bodies. When Isaac Asimov envisioned in 1964 what 2014 would be like, he described what we’ve come to know as satellite phones, Skype calls, and driverless cars. Of course, with all hits, there have been some misses: we don’t have Brunner’s single super computer that powers the world, but the rhizome of the Internet with servers all over the globe; we don’t have the moon colonies that Asimov assumed we’d already have. Still, the power of science fiction comes from the license to dream – and in many case to have nightmares. In advance of the Zócalo/ASU Center for Science and the Imagination Event “Can Science Fiction Revolutionize Science?”, we asked experts: What idea from science fiction would you most like to see become reality? 1. Instant messaging – across galaxies By Seth Shostak 2. Pushing past culture clashes By Bobak Ferdowsi 3. My own personal spacecraft By Leroy Chiao 4. Beyond the big things, an improvement in nail polish By Amy Mainzer 5. Truly clean energy sources By Steven Gould 6. These toys should come with warning labels By Devon Maloney Read the 6 ideas at Time Magazine.
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