Noyce Conference Room
Working Group

All day


Our campus is closed to the public for this event.

The writer Emile Zola said that “the novelist is equally an observer and an experimentalist,” arguing that fiction could be a laboratory for discovery. While novels are not physical experiments, they can be understood as what Ernst Mach called Gedankenexperiment, or thought experiments. This is especially true for science fiction, which frequently engages in thought experiments about physics, biology, history, and economics. Extrapolation and counterfactual speculation are techniques used in both the sciences and in science fiction as ways of understanding the principles that govern the complex systems we observe. 



  • Seth Dickinson, author of Exordia
  • Ruthanna Emrys, author of A Half-Built Garden
  • E.J. Fisher, author of "The New Mother"
  • Arkady Martine, author of the Teixcalaan series
  • Ray Nayler, author of The Mountain in the Sea
  • Ada Palmer, author of the Terra Ignota series
  • T.K. Rex, short story author
  • Ben Rosenbaum, author of The Unraveling



  • Kiki Berk (Southern New Hampshire University)
  • Jen Dunne (SFI)
  • Anthony Eagan (SFI)
  • Henry Farrell (Johns Hopkins)
  • David Krakauer (SFI)
  • Paul Krugman (City University of New York)
  • C. Brandon Ogbunu (Yale)
  • Cosma Shalizi (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Sara Walker (Arizona State University)


Ted ChiangTed ChiangAuthor; Miller Scholar at SFI
Chris KempesChris KempesProfessor + Science Steering Committee Member at SFI
Caitlin McSheaCaitlin McSheaDirector, Experimental Projects at the Santa Fe Institute

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