Science fiction/futures: how science fiction can influence strategic thinking and technological development


September 2021


MAJGEN Mick Ryan, Commander Australian Defence College
Ms Ksenia Ivanova, Operations Research Analyst | Defence Impacts of Emerging Technologies | Strategy & Joint Force, Defence Science & Technology Group
Dr Will Slocombe, Director of the Science Fiction Studies and Directors of the Olaf Stapledon Centre for Speculative Futures | University of Liverpool, UK
Prof Nick Agar, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carnegie Mellon University & Adjunct Professor at UniSA Creative

“Reading science fiction nurtures hope that there is a better future. While conflict, catastrophe, and climate change feature in many of these novels and movies, much science fiction is highly optimistic in nature… However, reading science fiction also allows us to consider a variety of negative potential futures… It is beneficial for military officers to read such descriptions of alternate futures; it is the first step in ensuring that they do not come to pass.” (‘Science Fiction and the Strategist 2.0’, Strategy Bridge, August 27, 2018).

The aim of this event was to enable creative collisions of researchers and practitioners from different disciplines, with the hope of fostering a community of interest that can continue building on the ideas discussed on the night.