Converting Materials Science Fiction into Materials Science Fact -- Examples & Challenges

Primary tabs

Organizers:  Kyriaki Kalaitzidou (ME), Lisa Yaszek (Literature, Media, & Communication), Jud Ready (IMat-GTRI)

The seminar will identify & discuss materials and materials manufacturing technologies predicted by science fiction that have been realized as of today. Specific emphasis is placed on the sci-fi predictions of a specific material or materials manufacturing technology, such as synthetic spider silk (R. Heinlein, Misfit, 1939), rather than “general” predictions of technology, such as smartwatches (C. Gould, Dick Tracy, 1946). The event is designed to inspire research efforts that might lead to the creation of new materials & manufacturing methods previously predicted by sci-fi, but not yet realized as of today.

Examples of sci-fi predictions (realized and unrealized) include:

9:00-9:05 a.m. - Welcome & Introductions (Jud Ready, IMat-GTRI)

9:05-9:50 a.m. - “To Dream Futures” (Kathleen Goonan, Author)

9:55-10:40 a.m. – “Finding Engineering Inspiration in Unlikely Places” (Karen Burnham, Author)

10:45-11:30 a.m. - “Programmable Matter, from Fiction to Fact.” (Wil McCarthy, Author)

11:35-12:30 p.m. - “How can Georgia Tech ‘Create the Next’ unrealized material or materials manufacturing technology that has already been predicted by science fiction but not yet created?” (panel of 3 organizers & 3 authors; plus audience)

12:30-1:30 p.m. - Adjourn & Lunch (Complimentary for all attendees)

Click here to RSVP.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Cecelia Jones
  • Created:07/26/2017
  • Modified By:Kristen Bailey
  • Modified:09/11/2017



  • No keywords were submitted.