[The democratic side of science-fiction]

Lecellier, C. H.

Med Sci (Paris)

2011-04 / vol 27 / pages 433-8


Suspicion towards technological advances has progressively grown during the xx(th) century. However, in the XXI(st) century, reading the NBIC (nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science) report of the National Science Foundation, we can note that science has caught up with science fiction. These changes in public mentality on one side and in scientific capacities on the other argue for an evolution of the debate on sciences. The recent example of the national debate on nanotechnology in France has clearly shown that the public is no longer waiting for additional sources of scientific knowledge but rather waiting for the recognition of its authority to participate in the definition of the national R&D priority and associated scientific strategies. This is all the more legitimate that these strategies will have profound impact on the future of our societies and therefore cannot be decided only by scientists. Hence, it is crucial to identify innovative tools promoting debate on sciences and their technological spin-off. Here, we contend that science fiction has major assets that could face this challenge and facilitate the dialogue between sciences and society.

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10.1051/medsci/2011274021 medsci2011274p433 [pii]

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