Unsettling Scientific Stories

Blogging the History of the Future

April 21, 2016
Lisa Garforth

What is SF Anyway?

Author: Lisa Garforth

What is sf anyway? When we started the Unsettling Science project discussions it seemed that we didn’t know (or couldn’t agree on) the name of the genre we are going to be studying. But how could we – and why should we? In sf terminology there are a lot more questions than answers.


April 20, 2016
Mat Paskins

Science Fiction Meets the History of Science

Author: Mat Paskins

Our project “Unsettling Scientific Stories” is about engagements between science fiction (SF), visions of the future, and the history, philosophy, and sociology of Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (HoS). Existing scholarship has suggested a number of promising ways of articulating the relationships between these topics and left some significant questions unaddressed. In this series of I want to look at the main ways in which SF has been theorised, with a particular focus on how that relates to HoS. I will begin with some very general observations. (more…)

April 19, 2016
Amanda Rees

The Dreams my World got Made of… [Amanda’s SF Suggestions]

Author: Amanda Rees

s200_amanda.reesIf I had to pick the SF that shaped both my expectations of the future and the broad outlines of my conceptual world, I probably wouldn’t start with books. I’d have to begin at about 7pm on Wednesday nights in the mid 1980s, when the closing theme of Star Trek would sing out from BBC2, and I would roil in frustration at the fact that I’d been born at least three centuries too soon. (more…)

April 18, 2016
Sam Robinson

Kind Donation, Invaluable Resource: The Roger Alan Stansfield Collection

Author: Sam Robinson

Back in February one of the Unsettling Scientific Stories project’s co-PIs Prof. Iwan Morus got an email from Pam Stansfield, an alumni of University College Wales, Aberystwyth (now the University of Aberystwyth), with an amazing offer. She asked if her late husband Rog’s Science Fiction collection be of any use to the Unsettling Scientific Stories team. After a rapid exchange of emails it was agreed that the only answer to this would be a enthusiastic YES! Iwan’s dad likely taught some of Rog’s maths modules when he studied as an undergraduate at Aberystwyth and gives the collection a link to the project, universities, and people involved.


April 18, 2016
The Project Team

A History of the Future: Welcome to Unsettling Scientific Stories Blog


The future. The moving frontier. These are the adventures of the AHRC project Unsettling Scientific Stories in its 36-month mission to seek out new insights, science histories, and understandings of sociology, and go where no one has gone before…


What is the future? How does it change? Why is it important to understand the different ways in which the future has been imagined across the long 20th Century? What does science fiction have in common with (the histories of) science?  (more…)