David Brin, scientist, futurist, speaker, technical consultant and best-selling, award-winning author, will give a public lecture entitled “Neutralizing Nightmares: How We Prevent Dark Tomorrows … By Imagining Them.” The lecture will be at 7 p.m., Oct. 14 in Performance Hall, inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center at Newman University.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will focus on the possibility of mastering the art of looking ahead.
“Human beings come equipped with brain-zones that obsess on the future, exploring it with both models and stories,” Brin said. “Are these processes helpful? What happens when we care more about the story than what’s true? From weather forecasting to stock market analysis to science fiction, is it possible to master the art of looking ahead?”
In addition to the lecture, Brin – who was a friend of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury – will speak with Newman students about Bradbury’s classic, Fahrenheit 451. The book is the Common Read for the 2014-2015 academic year. Each year the university selects a book, which is read by all freshman students as well as many faculty members. Faculty then have students engage with the material in the book.
Brin has published over 50 novels, many in the science fiction genre, as well as non-fiction books, articles, novellas, short stories, academic papers and collections. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards, among others. His novel The Postman was adapted by Kevin Costner and Warner Brothers’ Studios to film in 1997. Since that time, Brin has developed scenarios for television episodes, scripted and directed graphic novels and been commissioned by Paramount Pictures and Sandbar Pictures to develop film scripts. He has also appeared as a keynote speaker at more than 100 conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.
Brin’s scientific work covers an eclectic range of topics, from astronautics, astronomy, and optics to alternative dispute resolution and the role of neoteny – or the retention of immature characteristics in adulthood – in human evolution. He holds patents which directly confront some of the faults of screen-based interaction between people, aiming to improve the way human beings converse online.
Brin was born in Glendale, Calif., in 1950. He received a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics at California Institute of Technology in 1973, and a Master’s Degree in Optics in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 1981, both from the University of California San Diego. He spent three years for his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the California Space Institute and helped establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. He serves on the External Council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts group and frequently does futurist consulting for corporations and government agencies.
David Brin’s books are available at his Web site, www.davidbrin.com, and at amazon.com as well as other online retail sites and bookstores nationwide.