Fi-Sci: How to Speak Science with Fiction

Design South (CDS) – 126

Friday 27th, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Rhona Trauvitch, Prem Chapagain, Sabyasachi Moulik, Magda Pearson, Wanda Raiford, Tigran Abrahamyan, Nicholas R. Cabezas (Florida International University)

How do we communicate scientific phenomena such as time dilation and quantum superposition, processes that range from perplexing to entirely counterintuitive? In this workshop we’ll do so with a tool that is not an instrument like a microscope, nor a machine like a particle collider, but a rhetorical device: fiction. Fiction opens the door to confounding natural phenomena through a process of fiction-science pattern mapping: to fi-sci, distill a scientific phenomenon into a pattern (a form, or shape), and locate the avatar of this pattern in fiction. Playfully accepting an incomprehensible situation in fiction opens our conceptual pathways to a similarly-patterned process in science. Think of it like biomimicry plus fiction: both bioinspired design and fi-sci leverage analogical reasoning to solve problems across disciplines. Join Florida International University’s Science & Fiction Lab for an interactive workshop on “how to fi-sci.” Lab fellows who teach astronomy, Italian literature, medicine, ethics, and biophysics share how they’ve used fi-sci analogies to inspire interdisciplinary problem-solving in their courses. Next, use the Pattern Mapping Flowchart to craft an original fi-sci analogy that you’ll present alongside the Lab at Saturday’s Fi-Sci Panel!

More information: scienceandfiction.fiu.edu