The realm of possibility
Ben’s research on science fiction to date has explored how science fiction readers feel about science, how tropical cities are represented in science fiction cover art and how science fiction jungle spaces work. His current interests focus on how science fiction can speak to our own future. Things dreamt of in what Ben calls science fiction’s “realm of possibility” are fast becoming the realities of our present and future.
Ben thinks that science fiction provides clues to how society will react to emerging technologies in fields like robotics, which could then inform the development of these technologies.
“You could actually go to the science fiction and say, how have these machines been portrayed over time? What are peoples’ expectations? What do they think is going to happen? What things do they like about them and what things don’t they like about them? Then you can try and address that in the research.”