ERIC Number: ED229314
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Prophecy, Pulp, or Punt: Science Fiction, Scenarios, and Values.
Spinks, C. W.
A brief history of science fiction and an analysis of its functions precedes a description of a university level course taught at Trinity University on science fiction, technology, and values. Science fiction writing is briefly traced from Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" through the golden age of science fiction in the 1940s and 1950s to its increasing sophistication in the 1970s. From its beginning, science fiction has been concerned with social issues arising from scientific discoveries. The genre seeks to clarify values surrounding issues generated by these discoveries. Its major focuses are wonderment, technology as generator of new ideas and situations, and the relationship of science to technology. Science fiction has thus become the mythos of industrial and post-industrial societies. The purpose of the course is to probe attitudes about the relationship between technology and values. Readings include Toffler's "The Third Wave," essays on technology and values, a short story anthology, and three novels. The PBS 10-part series, "Connections," is also used. An end-of- semester survey revealed that 83 percent of the students agreed that the course had helped them articulate their views on technology and values. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the World Future Education Society (5th, Dallas, TX, February 13-16, 1983).