Prospecting Futures

In the PROSPECTING FUTURES part of the Unsettling Scientific Stories project we’ll be looking for futures that are now emerging through the present. We will explore how contemporary scientific developments and issues are currently being interpreted and navigated by the science fiction story-making community. We will focus on the ways in which new techno-scientific knowledge claims and dilemmas unsettle existing ideas of what the future might be – and how at the same time writers, filmmakers, and audiences (readers and viewers) can unsettle scientific certainties as they use science fiction to map, invent, explore and examine their worlds.


This part of the project has a sociological dimension. It focuses on the futures that contemporary techno-scientific societies are currently producing, and on the probable-possible-desirable-frightening societies that we imagine through the lenses of science and science fiction. We will also be working with real live science fiction writers, filmmakers, fans, and readers to find out how people are actually and actively using sf/sci-fi/speculative fiction to engage with science and to imagine and interpret a different kind of future society.


We’ll be using focus groups to explore these questions. We will be creating some of our own, but we are also keen to work with existing reading groups and film societies. If you organise or participate in a reading group or film society, especially in York, Newcastle or Aberystwth – or online – and you are interested in our project, please contact Amy Chambers or Lisa Garforth for further information.