How is the function of imagination in science to be understood?
This quest aims to sketch a picture of the potential challenges that may arise and provide an overview of what the imagination does when it is used as a guide in the scientific world. In conversation with scientists, artists, and designers, I pursue to discover where fiction touches science and where science flows over into fiction. In doing so, I want to gain more understanding in how fiction and science intersect and to discover what role the imagination has in understanding, discovering, and developing scientific theory.
I believe that the crossing of borders between disciplines can be highly potent spaces for problem solving, new knowledge and understanding about the world, and that the challenge lies in how to bridge the different disciplines in such ways that they can trade and integrate information successfully. But most of all, I am incredibly interested about what motivates people in their research, learning and work. With each conversation, a new universe opens up. With this podcast series I invite you to open your mind’s door and allow worlds of others to enter.
Responsible Imagining with Cristina Zaga
Dr. ir. Cristina Zaga is a transdisciplinary design and assistant professor at Human-Centred Design Group (Design and Production Management department) and at the The DesignLab at the University of Twente.
Cristina fosters epistemological and methodological change in the design of human-agent relations towards a social justice, post-human feminist and relational ethics-oriented way of practicing research. To this end, she develops transdisciplinary, and more than human methods, tools, and techniques to mitigate and overcome current de-humanizing and oppressive effects of AI and embodied AI technology
Together with colleagues at DesignLab of the University of Twente, she co-develops Responsible Futuring, a transdisciplinary approach to tackle societal challenges and futures in collaboration with communities. Within this line of research, she focuses on methods and tools to make thoughts, ideas, and reflections from concrete to tangible through visual scenarios and prototypes and, in so doing, supporting collective reflection and status-quo challenging.
Her research’s main fields of application are health (reproductive care and motherhood), and the future of work. Her award-winning research in Human-Robot Interaction and transdisciplinary design has received many accolades such as the Google Women TechMaker Scholar 2018 and the NWO Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award for project, network on Social Justice in Embodied AI. Her design artifacts has been exhibited internationally at conferences and design weeks (Dutch Design Week 2018, 2020, 2022). Cristina is regularly invited as a speaker at events (e.g., TEDx), symposia, and conferences. She regularly publishes in top tier conference venues (CHI conference, HRI conference, CSCW conference).
Freya Blekman is an experimental particle physicist and lead scientist at DESY, Germany’s largest accelerator centre. Find the podcast here.
Science meets Fiction
In collaboration with Focus Film Theater, I programmed four evenings of film, science and fiction. During this evenings in October 2022, we screened science fiction movies (The Martian, Interstellar, Inner Telescope, E.T.), and went into conversation with scientists and artists (professor Anna Watts, dr.ig Wieger Wamelink, Marc Heemskerk, Anna Sitnikova, George van Hal en Virgile Novarina) about at what point in the movies, fiction meets science.If you are interested in where science meets fiction, the role of imagination in (space) science and would like to discuss possibilities of a sci-fi lecture or film programme, reach out to: email@example.com.