Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Vanderbilt Course on Science and Science Fiction
The semester here is well underway, and I am teaching (with my colleague Jay Clayton from the English Department) an honors seminar on science and science fiction. Each week is based around a different theme (time travel, quantum mechanics, prediction of the future), with corresponding stories assigned. Then we discuss both the scientific issues (Does physics rule out time travel? Why can't you travel faster than light, and what are the implications for interstellar travel? And what's deal with Schrodinger's cat?) and the stories themselves. It's a unique blend of hard-core science and literature (as the name of the course suggests). This is the third time we've taught this course, and I think we're finally starting to get it right. You can look at the class blog at https://vusf.wordpress.com/. There's a link there to the class syllabus, if you'd like to see what we are reading. All in all, it's the most fun class I've ever taught. And of course, this blog itself grew out of my teaching that course.