Looking at Science Fiction for Higher Education Innovation

Mar 20, 2022 by

Universities are encouraging students and faculty to proactively look to science fiction narratives to drive future innovation. Science fiction and innovative design are integrating to help academics, researchers, and engineers reimagine the future, and now higher education is starting to catch on.

According to Michaud (2020), while science fiction has been a source of utopian prophecies, it has also been used in capitalism to promote social, political, and technoscientific innovations. Contributing authors explain how engineering students are learning technical culture through science fiction by providing examples of pedagogical modules developed in engineering schools (Michaud, 2020). Others believe economics students can also learn a great deal from science fiction novels.

Jordan and Silva (2019) assert that science fiction materials are valuable in Human-computer interaction (HCI) or computer science education. Cascini, Nagai, Georgiev, and Zelaya (2020) contend that science fiction provides the creativity needed to find new solutions for the wellbeing of society such as during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Founded in 2011 by author Neal Stephenson at Arizona State University, Project Hieroglyph, is an initiative to encourage the creation of science fiction to spur innovation in science and technology.


How can universities better incorporate science fiction into their curriculum? In what ways will science fiction continue to influence political, economic, and technical aspects of society that faculty and students need to recognize?


Science fiction, STEM, innovative design, technical culture, higher education, computer science, artificial intelligence, higher education curriculum


Cascini, G., Nagai, Y., Georgiev, G. V., & Zelaya, J. (2020). What can we learn from COVID-19 pandemic for design creativity research?. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 8(3), 141-143. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21650349.2020.1771867

Jordan, P., & Silva, P. A. (2019). Building an argument for the use of science fiction in HCI education. In International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration (pp. 846-851). Springer, Cham. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1811.01033.pdf

Michaud, T. (2020). Science Fiction and Innovation Design, Volume 6. ISTE: London. ISBN:9781786305831

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