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International MINTEEE Launch Conference

Science Meets Fiction

November 15th, 2016
at the
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy
for Sciences and Humanities

»Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.« Carl Sagan
The international launch conference titled »Science meets Fiction: Science and Gender in Science-Fiction and Sitcom Productions« focuses on the potential of movies and TV series to draw interest to scientific and technical issues and also to encourage not only social but also scientific and technical innovation and research.
The conference will first introduce why the science fiction genre and space movies have the potential not only to encourage es­pecially young women to enroll for non-gender-stereotypic and unconventional scientific or technical studies, but also to inspire scientists and their research.
Following that it will be presented how sitcoms can encourage a change of image towards more acceptance and appreciation of scientists and especially »nerds« in society.
Based on specific examples scientists and movie makers will show how science and fiction – including strong women char­ac­ters with scientific and technical background – can coope­rate in the best way possible, for example in a discovery journey to the distant future and/or to yet undiscovered pla­nets, but also in sitcom productions showing scientists and nerds in their daily life routines.
In US-American and British movies and series protagonists like scientists and nerds are on the rise. German productions how­ever are still lacking scientific and technical role models. Repre­sentatives from both the »science world« and the »fiction world« will discuss the causes and possible starting points for change. Will the appearance of new players (streaming, video on de­mand) provide new chances for German productions? How can science organizations, science foundations, film schools, and universities help to improve the development collaborations of science and fiction for more science, tech­nology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in drama productions – and for more female STEM-role-models?
Concluding there will be four different workshops. They will provide opportunities to exchange experiences with experts and to network in smaller groups.
The international conference is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research and is supported by its coope­ration partners »Max Planck Society« (MPG), »Fraunhofer Society«, and the »National Aeronautics and Space Re­search Centre of the Federal Republic of Germany« (DLR).
The conference will be translated simultaneously English ↔ German.