The award-winning science fiction writer, Kim Stanley Robinson (left), says that it is difficult to write science fiction today because real science often catches up with fiction too quickly. It is hard to sort out science fiction from science fact today. There are some things, like "light speed travel" and "teletransporters" that were fun little devices in science fiction that few ever really thought could actually be made real, but the rest of the stuff has already been created or is just over the horizon.
What Robinson says is that we, collectively, are creating our own science fiction reality through real science. Our attitudes about science are shifting from fear to recognition that science can help make our world better. It is up to designers to now use the advances of science to create a better world.
Sciemce has made tremendous advances in their role as "discoverers" of the nature of the universe (the Hubble) and life (DNA), and designers must build on those and other discoveries to now create that which does not yet exist - to turn fiction into fact. The future is not something we simple live into, it does not exist out there already, we must create it.
Click on the heading above to hear (in a series of 8 minute clips) a 90 minute lecture on some of his ideas that Robinson gave at Duke University at a conference put together by Jerry Canavan.