Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Interesting Questionnaire on Science and Fiction !

Peggy Kolm puts a list of questions on her blog ' Biology in Science Fiction ' which are to be answered by sf writers and bloggers as a preparatory exercise to moderate a session on sf in ScienceOnline09 which is an annual rendezvous of science bloggers.

I have answered the questions as per my little understanding of the subject and genre.The questions and answers are as follows-
What is your relationship to science fiction? Do you read it? Watch it? What/who do you like and why?

I am very fond of reading and watching sf .I like the stories particularly with optimistic note and happy endings. This may be due to the deep sacraments through which an Indian undergoes since his childhood. As a matter of fact most of the Indian stories have happy endings and a positive thought towards human life -Vivekanand( (January 12, 1863July 4, 1902) ,the great Indian spiritual leader who visited USA also once said .."See ,if you have lost every thing, future still remains." So we have born and brought up in a milieu like this.My all time favorite sf writer has been Issac Asimov who still has many of his admirers in India.His many stories have social implications and is appreciated by Indian audience.

· What do you see as science fiction's role in promoting science, if any? Can it do more than make people excited about science? Can it harm the cause of science?

· At least in India sf could play a pivotal role in popularizing sf but for this we have to look for many new innovative formats and procedures ...one is already in practice and has been brought to your notice earlieir and finnds a mention on your blog -BIOLOGY IN SCIENCE FICTION -This could be depicting/ showing of sf in dynamic models, .tableux during the religious occasions at times when there is a great assemblage of common people like the one called KUMBH –the largest fair of the world organized every 12 years for a duration of more than a month on the cofluence of river Yamuna and Ganges in Allahabad,India. An ingenious mix of mythology and sf could also be tried to attract the common masses. This experiment has yielded encouraging results during last Kumbh .If you rationally mix something very familiar like myths of a country with something very unfamiliar like sf ,things get going very well to carry and communicate the intended message to masses.No ,there seems to be no damage to the science itself ,instaed it serves the very purpose of sci communication. Its helpful to bring out the science out of our iron walled laboratories to the public.


· Have you used science fiction as a starting point to talk about science? Is it easier to talk about people doing it right or getting it wrong?

· Quite often ,To begin a lecture on science or technology stories act as attracting contrivances /devices for the audience and thus could be used in various medium of imparting knowledge from class room to open theater as par the need and demand. But yes such story tellers/trainers or teachers must be trained by the experts in the field ,otherwise there is a possibility of promoting pseudo science in the name of sf -mythology mix or any such ingenious combo.

· Are there any specific science or science fiction blogs you would recommend to interested readers or writers?

· Biology in sf is my favorite , sf signal is another one and there are many more depending on the choices by the people of specific geographical areas and interests.

· Questions for Science Fiction Writer.

* Why are you writing science fiction in particular? What does the science add?
* Writing to me at least is for my own satisfaction first and a very strong motivation to share the gained knowledge however meager that may be to fellow beings who need that knowledge. Sf writing serves to satiate my innermost desire.
* What is your relationship to science? Have you studied or worked in it, or do you just find it cool? Do you have a favorite field?
* I am a PhD in fish genetics from the Oxford of the East –Alahabad university ,India –so have a penchant for scientific contents especially genetics ,behavior and so on.

* How important is it to you that the science be right? What kind of resources do you use for accuracy?
* Science must not only be right it should be rightly put forth also .Otherwise there are chances that it may transgress the limits of sensibility/rationality and may plunge into the realms of pseudo science.
* Are there any specific science or science fiction blogs you would recommend to interested readers or writers?
* Already mentioned.