How much science fiction is based on fact and what happens when writers work with scientists to create new stories?
Writers Sara Maitland and Michael Arditti join their scientific collaborators Dr Jennifer Rowntree, an evolutionary ecologist, and Dr John Harrison, a geneticist, to read from their work and to discuss how research ideas are used creatively in the writing process.
With the great advancements of science and technology in the last century, some even reflecting the almost predictive work of past science fiction authors, how has new science fiction adapted to new ideas? Is the genre still just for entertainment, or do science fiction writers have an obligation to connect science with the public and teach new ideas?
How have public conversations about science changed? And how will they change in future?
In 17th-century London, coffee-houses were important centres of information exchange: gentlemen, merchants, courtiers and craftsmen gathered to sip coffee and talk about the latest news and ideas. Fellows of the newly-established Royal Society used coffee-house conversations to publicise their own research and learn about developments at home and abroad.
Watch interviews with Brian Greene, Philip Glass and Al and Al as they talk about Icarus at the Edge of Time, which has its European premiere at See Further: The Festival of Science + Arts on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July 2010, at Southbank Centre, London.
The live chat on Twitter with Sylvia Earle, scheduled for 4.30pm Friday has been postponed due to a Twitter outage. Follow @litweeter for details of when the event will now take place.
See the Litweeter Festival website for details.
Marcus du Sautoy is Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at University of Oxford, and he gives this special lecture on the relationship between maths and music.
When I was young I used to disappear down into the cellar of my parent's home to scrabble about with the machines that lived there: the boiler, the washing machine, old computers, cassettes, calculators and strange looking cameras. This realm of the machines was warm, darkly lit, and full of comforting clicks and whirring sounds.