This week’s Weekly Science Hour features a discussion with Space Historian Andrew Chaikin. During this one hour live event, host Pamela L. Gay will talk to Andrew about how people have dreamed about future space exploration and how these dreams are changing.
Tune in at Wednesday June 13 at 4pm Pacific / 7pm Eastern on the CosmoQuest Hangout Page.
Chaikin was himself inspired in by science fiction writer Ray Bradbury as a high school student, and later had the privilege of working with Bradbury as an editor in 2000. As a starting point, we will discuss how this science fiction writer inspired space exploration, and his message on how we need to “Jump off the cliff, and build your wings on the way down.”
Ray Bradbury’s inspiring advice is needed today more than ever. The modern American space program is troubled by funding cuts and a population that some claim has forgotten how to dream. In his recent essay on Innovation Starvation, science fiction writer Neal Stevenson writes, “The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few nerds with slide rules. It’s the only way for the human race to escape from its current predicaments. Too bad we’ve forgotten how to do it.”
In this one hour discussion we’ll discuss how the amazing accomplishments of the Apollo Era look like a decade stolen from some future we haven’t yet reached, and what is needed to re-find the inspiration that science fiction has so often brought to science (and may be even how science can re-inspire tomorrow’s science fiction!)
Massive kudos also have to go our for Andrew for holding his own on the Colbert Report on April 4, 2011. If you want to see his excellent job, check out this video: