Do You Need Good Science to Have Good Science Fiction?

Saturday June 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm
Ballroom C

Buy the Panel Discussion DVD


 Andrew FraknoiAndrew Fraknoi - Andrew Fraknoi is the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College and Senior Educator at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He teaches courses on "astronomy and physics for poets" to about a thousand students each year. In 2007, he was selected as the Professor of the Year for the state of California by the Carnegie Endowment for Education. He appears frequently on local and national radio, explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.  His book for children, "Disney's Wonderful World of Space" was published in 2007, he is the lead author on a series of college astronomy textbooks, and he has edited two books of science and science fiction for Bantam.  Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi by the International Astronomical Union in recognition of his contributions to science popularization.  He currently serves as Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute.
Robert J. Sawyer - one of only eight writers in history to win all three of the science-fiction field’s top awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He frequently writes about SETI, including in the Hugo Award finalists Rollback and Factoring Humanity. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name. He has published in Science (guest editorial), Nature (fiction), and Sky & Telescope, was a participant in the workshop “The Future of Intelligence in the Cosmos” sponsored jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, is a contributor to DARPA’s “100 Year Starship Project,” and was Guest of Honor at the first-contact conference CONTACT 4 Japan. Buy Robert J. Sawyer SETIcon II Interview DVD
Frank Summers - Dr. Frank Summers is an Outreach Astrophysicist for the Hubble Space Telescope. While his job involves presenting the wonders of astronomy through news, media, web sites, educational programs, museums and more, his specialty is cinematic scientific visualizations of research data and supercomputer simulations. Dr. Summers is a writer, science advisor, and scientific visualization supervisor on the IMAX film "Hubble 3D". His work can also be seen in the Academy Award nominated IMAX film "Cosmic Voyage". In addition, he was a curator for the re-birth of New York's Hayden Planetarium in 2000, and his 24 lecture DVD course on the solar system is available as one of the "Great Courses" from the Teaching Company.
Paul R. Frommer - The linguist who developed the Na’vi language for James Cameron’s film Avatar, is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Management Communication and former Director of the Center for Management Communication at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Prior to joining Marshall, he lived and taught in Malaysia and Iran and spent ten years in the business world as vice president and strategic planner for a Los Angeles corporation. His teaching at USC included courses in Advanced Writing for Business and Cross-cultural Business Communication for Non-native Speakers. Since the release of Avatar, Na’vi has attracted a worldwide community of enthusiasts who are assisting Dr. Frommer in expanding the language further. In addition to Na’vi, he also developed the Martian language for the Disney film John Carter. He is co-author, with Edward Finegan, of Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics. Buy Paul R. Frommer's SETIcon II Interview DVD
Kevin GrazierKevin R. Grazier - Dr. Grazier was the scientific advisor for "Battlestar Galactica", "Eureka", and "The Event", and co-author of The Science of Battlestar Galactica—a book detailing the science both depicted and hinted at in the re-imagined series. For 15 years he was an Investigation Scientist on the Cassini/Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan, and for his research performs large-scale long-term computer simulations of early Solar System dynamics and evolution. He is also the science advisor for "Falling Skies", this summer's movie "Gravity", SyFy Channel's upcoming epic series "Defiance," and just produced the sci-fi short "D.N.E.: Do Not Erase." Buy Kevin Grazier's SETIcon II Interview DVD


Russ Holdstein, SETI Institute Trustee is an active investor/adviser for young technology companies and a lecturer in entrepreneurship, UC Berkeley Haas Business School. Holdstein is a former CFO of Rolling Stone Magazine.