Science Writing Events

Friday, June 24th - Venue: Faculty of Philosophy, Library

Science in Narratives, Narratives in Science

Open to the public

Faculty of Philosophy, Library

Panelists: Fabio Deotto, Tabish Khair, Anna Botta (respondent)

Moderator: Jim Hicks

11:00-12:30

Description

If the recent pandemic years and the ongoing climate crisis have taught us nothing else, they surely have demonstrated to all that the task of telling the story of science with clarity, force, and rigor is urgent – that our very lives, as well as that of our planet, depend upon it. It has also been made clear that this task, for better or worse, will not be left solely in the hands of scientists. Our panelists offer testimony from their own lives and work about the interplay between science, society, and storytelling, with the intention of opening up and furthering that discussion within the BHAAAS community and its audience.

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

Editorials from an Imminent Future

For participants that have been selected through the application process

Faculty of Philosophy, Library

Workshop Moderator: Fabio Deotto

13:30-15:30

Description

This workshop will provide participants with a thorough overview of the tools and possibilities of “speculative nonfiction”, a relatively new approach which combines elements of fiction and science writing. Among the possible forms that speculative nonfiction may take are op-eds conceived as if they had been written in a near future, a historical moment where some dynamics and transitions that are currently in progress have finally become tangible. Such work is speculative, and so a fictional component is inevitable: we write from the perspective of a near, though imagined future, even if we begin with real, already available data and trends. Authors must also decide whether to use their own voice or create a fictitious narrator (and therefore a hypothetical reporter), who can also be used as a literary character. The challenge of speculative nonfiction is to create works that don’t simply elaborate an imagined future, but also exploit its change of perspective to shed light on the present. Paraphrasing Primo Levi, more than imagining a future, it is about “casting the shadow of the present”.

Real Science in Imaginary Stories

For participants that have been selected through the application process

Faculty of Philosophy, Library

Workshop Moderator: Fabio Deotto

16:00-18:00

Description

This workshop intends to counter the popular and erroneous belief that the Sciences and the Arts are irrevocably opposed as constructs and disciplines. Instead, it will focus on ways in which the two overlap by looking at the use of science in fiction. Given our initial premise – that the sciences and the arts are not inevitably two separate, unequal cultures – applicants for this workshop will be allowed to submit writing samples that are either creative or argumentative, or a hybrid of both.