Center for Science and the Imagination students predict future

Director Ed Finn introduces the Center for Science and the Imagination at its launch event on September 24, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tom Story)

Director Ed Finn introduces the Center for Science and the Imagination at its launch event on September 24, 2012. (Photo Courtesy of Tom Story)

The Center for Science and the Imagination is creating opportunities for the ASU community to discuss and envision the future.

The center formed the ASU Imagination Projecta student organization for members to discuss the future in a more relaxed setting, said Zach Berkson, project president and chemical engineering senior.

“We can have more speculative conversations where we talk about, ‘What if?’” he said.

The ASU Imagination Project provides an outlet for students to collaborate with professors, Berkson said.

“Our first project is a series of casual seminars where we’re bringing in faculty and staff members around campus to talk about things they are doing that are interesting to students and discuss some of the implications of those things for the future,” he said.

Students involved with the Imagination Project will have their projects displayed at Emerge, a CSI conference from Feb. 28 to March 2.

“We have some student projects hopefully being showcased at Emerge,” he said.

CSI Spokesman Joey Eschrich said Emerge will be a mixture of a conference and a festival, which will feature a set of workshops and a gala.

“We get all these creative people together … and we say, ‘What’s the future of the human species going to look like?’” Eschrich said.

Eschrich said the purpose of CSI is to bring a group of diverse individuals with artistic and scientific backgrounds together to create unexpected partnerships.

“(Our mission is) to bring writers, artists, social scientists and humanists into collaborations with scientists, engineers and people who work with technology and get some creative friction going between those people,” Eschrich said.

Eschrich said it is important for people of all backgrounds and interests to work together to form an optimistic prediction about the future.

“We want to create a sense of agency about the future,” he said. “Instead of thinking of the future as a fixed point that we’re running towards … the future is a spectrum of possibilities, and it’s being created by all of us.”

English professor Christine Gillette said she encourages her students to get involved with CSI because of the network opportunities it provides.

“Such opportunities can open amazing doors to new directions in scholarship, chances to participate in important projects, explore cutting-edge ideas, or even open doors to careers after graduation,” she said.

 

Reach the reporter at laura.m.davis@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @LauraChelle.