Who Owns Space?
Simon is a scientist and science fiction writer, and in this talk he reflects on what science fiction has taught us. "We know about the hubris of science through Frankenstein, we know of totalitarian state-controlled media through 1984, and we also know it’s a terrible idea to break quarantine protocols through the film Alien," he says. "Science fiction doesn’t prevent us from doing those things, but we can’t say we didn’t know what the results would be." Simon is concerned that science fiction has also shown us a dark future where the coming era of space exploration - and the exploitation of extra-terrestrial objects - is dominated by private companies. And having recently written a non-fiction book about the natural history of Mars, this is a future he is keen to avoid.
Producer: Giles Edwards.