The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
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How did we get here? Science fiction did some of the work (well done 1984 and Brave New World; better luck next time, RoboCop) … but the forces that shape the direction of our collective future involve factors like science, economics, social values, environments and politics, too.
Nobody would deny that it’s hard to look forward with clear, prescient eyes, but that’s never stopped us from trying, and the steady arrival of exciting discoveries and advances makes imagination impossible to stifle. Yet we need only look to the discovery of water on Mars to see the complications at play: any attempt to conclusively verify the discovery may contaminate the results.
Are our expectations and impressions of science aligned with the possible, pragmatic truth? And if not, who can change that? Cory Doctorow, Maggie Ryan Sandford, Sammy J and Upulie Divisekera discuss the stories we tell about technology and humanity, and explore the real obstacles that stand between scientific potential and vision made real.
Tickets to this event are available at the door. Arrive at least twenty minutes prior to the event to purchase.
Note to early bookers: if you booked tickets to this event prior to Thursday 19 November, some details may have changed. Please check theinterrobang.wheelercentre.com/#important-info for details.
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger – the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of Walkaway, a novel for adults, a YA graphic novel called In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Maggie Ryan Sandford is a science journalist, fiction and comedy writer, and human behavior researcher at the Science Museum of Minnesota, whose work focuses on equity in science education, the relationship between science and art, and cetaceans. With a background in broadcast radio and TV production, sketch comedy, English literature, and biology, her work has appeared in Slate, Smithsonian, McSweeney’s, ComedyCentral.com, mental_floss, National Geographic, the Walker Art Center and Seattle Art Museum, onstage at the People's Improv and Upright Citizen's Brigade theaters in New York, and on the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. She is currently at work on a book about dolphins.
Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer, and songbird.
Upulie Divisekera is a molecular biologist, science communicator and writer based in Melbourne. Over her research career, Upulie has worked in cancer research, developmental biology and is currently involved with nanotechnology research.
The Interrobang – a new festival from the Wheeler Centre – is looking for the best questions in the world.
Ask your questions and vote on others, then join us on 27–28 November for a feast of frequently unanswered questions – as we present your most controversial, revealing, funny and insightful ideas to a 28-strong Brains Trust of the world’s most inquisitive thinkers.
Pose your question at The Interrobang festival website. We’re building this festival on your curiosity, so brace yourself – and wonder hard.
• City of Melbourne
• The University of Melbourne