This is a great interview to follow the interview with Julie Czerneda. Join Speculating Canada on Friday March 8 to hear another scientist who has turned to fiction writing discuss their ideas, thoughts, and inspirations.
Scott Fotheringham is a former molecular biologist who is currently a fiction author. Although he does not identify as an author of SF, much of his fiction work has speculative elements in it that should excite you. Scott discusses ways that science can change to be more understanding of the impact of scientific endeavors, breaking down binary gender categories, the moral implications of science, developing fiction from thought experiments, and the importance of protecting our environment.
Here are some teasers for our upcoming interview:
Scott Fotheringham: “I left science for reasons that are still not completely clear to me.”
Scott Fotheringham: “I wanted to use what I had learned of biology to perform a thought experiment: What would happen if plastic began to disappear? Because that probably won’t happen because we choose to make it happen, I wondered if organisms could digest plastic. I went looking in the literature for references to bacteria and fungi that ate plastic and found them. From there it was a matter of perfecting the process, setting it loose, and watching what happened.”
Scott Fotheringham: “The questions I’d like to see asked – particularly by the scientists themselves – are, What value does the work I’m doing have to society? How will this be used and, if it has potential for harm, should we pursue the research at all? So often scientists shrug their shoulders and say it’s not up to them how their inventions and discoveries are employed. This is a grievous abdication of their responsibility.”
Scott Fotheringham: “It’s too easy to divide the world into male and female and ignore the wealth of experience that comes from seeing that gender is fluid and expansive.”
Scott Fotheringham: “Only once we agree that the pollution problem needs to be addressed and that the natural world is our primary concern – more than economic growth, more than standard of living, more than our comfort – will we see a change.”
Scott Fotheringham: “Reading gives us insight into how other people view the world.”
Like many Canadian authors who write about speculative topics, Scott Fotheringham raises questions for readers to ponder and consider. If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can read my review of Scott Fotheringham’s The Rest is Silence at https://speculatingcanada.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/loss-and-changes/ .