How are scientific discoveries made? Some argue that science proceeds by falsification. Others argue that it proceeds by paradigm shifts. Both sides have obvious merit, but they leave out the discoveries generated by imagination in the minds of those outside of the scientific discipline. Sci-fi novels, cartoons, films, music, art, and video games are fantasy worlds to a certain degree. They’re labeled as such by virtue of the counterfactuals they explore. But how often have we seen prophecies in art come true decades or centuries after their initial imaginative expression? In this talk, Caitlin McShea looks at the role that counterfactual art plays in contributing to future scientific pursuit and technological innovation.
InterPlanetary, a trans-disciplinary project from the Santa Fe Institute asserts that science does not exist independent of art and imagination. We’ll explore this idea by looking at examples of interplanetary poetics and their eventual influence on our current scientific world. On the precipice of becoming a spacefaring civilization, recognition of this relationship is more important than ever. Although this talk will be largely descriptive, it will also be an attempt to inspire the perpetuation of this art-science symbiosis.