Gripping Science Tales Need Not Be Science Fiction
When does a story about science become science fiction? Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss and theoretical physicist Brian Greene discuss how to spin a yarn about string theory or the Big Bang, without hyping or distorting the science. And novelist Ian McEwan, whose books touch on neurosurgery and quantum field theory, talks about what science offers to fiction.
In the SciFri Snack: According to physicist Brian Greene, science is rife with emotion. His children’s book, “Icarus at the Edge of Time,” tells the story of a boy who spends an hour at the edge of a black hole — equivalent to 10,000 years back home. He returns to find his father long dead. The tale made Greene’s son cry — but maybe that’s ok.
Storified by Science FridayÂ· Thu, Mar 28 2013 11:27:30
@scifri Among the great scientist-storytellers: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan. #scifrichatN.A. Ratnayake
@scifri Good scientists figure out how nature works. Great scientists help others understand its importance. Storytelling is key #scifrichatJonathan Hoekstra
@scifri #scifrichat “Can scientists make good storytellers?” Â Yes, but only when they realize the diff btwn a report and a story.Chris Fisher
@scifri good scientists make the best storytellers. It helps that the natural world is full of great stories to tell! #scifrichatTraxGeo
@scifri #scifrichat I think @bgreene is a fantastic scientist/storyteller. His descriptions of the universe and its complexities are great!Aruna
Lawrence Krauss is director and foundation professor at The ASU Origins Project at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. He is the author of Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011).
Brian Greene is a physics and mathematics professor at Columbia University; co-founder of the World Science Festival; and author of Icarus at the Edge of Time (Knopf, 2008) in New York, New York.
Ian McEwan is the writer of Atonement (2001), Saturday (2005), Solar (2010) in London, England.