From the space race, to the advent of the internet and social media, to the increasing presence of drones in our skies, technological developments frequently occur with a confused rush of debate and policymakers struggling to keep pace. What if we could face the future with these important conversations already underway?

Rather than offering any sort of accurate future forecasting, we strongly believe that science fiction can engage us with the conceptual conundrums and ethical dilemmas inherent in future developments. By establishing common touchstones, like the challenges present in Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics or the cultural ramifications of gene therapy in the film Gattaca, future debates can grow productively from informed, established frames of reference.

So the next time you’re dozing off to a good book as your autonomous car chauffeurs you home, give a thought to what stories you might have read that helped frame your understanding of complex policy issues. You can let us know about them on twitter @scifipolicy, or directly at

(Want to delve a little deeper into the "whys" of sci fi policy? Check out “Why Science Fiction & Policy”, over on our blog.)

PHOTO: "First Mars Surface Photo", 1979. Via NASA on The Commons