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Can Science Fiction Save The World?

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Lời bài hát: Can Science Fiction Save The World?

Lời đăng bởi: datcrazy2402

Bài hát : Can Science Fiction Save The World? - V.A

Finn
Hello I'm Finn and welcome to 6 Minute English. Rob's here today. Hi Rob.
Rob
Hello Finn – are you well?
Finn
Very well, thanks. Rob, tell me – do you have a favourite science-fiction movie?
Rob
Ahh, science fiction – stories about an imagined future ... well my favourite was and always
will be ET: Extra Terrestrial, and you Finn?
Finn
Mine would probably be Blade Runner – the movie with Harrison Ford set in a dark, scary
Los Angeles where he hunts robots called replicants. You know the one?
Rob
I do – and come to think of it, lots of movies and stories about the future are quite dark
and negative ...
Finn
But perhaps this might change. A new project wants to use the power of science fiction to
do something very different: to inspire people to create a better future. It sounds very
grand. We'll be discussing the project and learning some language to talk about the future in
this programme.
Rob
But before we get too far into the future, I'm sure you have a question for me, Finn?
Finn
Yes indeed. It's about the film Blade Runner. It's set in the future – but in which year?
a) 2000
6 Minute English ©British Broadcasting Corporation 2014
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b) 2019
c) 2056
Rob
I think I'm gonna go for the far future, c) 2056.
Finn
Well I'll tell you if you're right or wrong later in the not-too-distant future.
Rob
Very good. So, as we were saying: lots of science fiction is negative.
Finn
Yes, there's a word to describe the kind of future world which often appears in science
fiction: dystopian. The noun 'dystopia' means an imagined place where things are
unpleasant or bad. The opposite is utopia and utopian.
Rob
But why is so much science fiction dystopian? Dr Braden Allenby from Arizona State
University.
Braden Allenby, Professor of Engineering and Ethics, Arizona State University
The downside of both of science fiction and movies is that they tend to be dystopian, they
tend to be very negative, they tend to be very noir. Dystopian is easier to do. It's easier to
write a dystopian story than it is to write an optimistic story.
Rob
He says dystopian stories are easier to write. I can see that – there's more conflict in a
world which has problems – and good stories often have a lot of conflict and problems to
resolve.
Finn
Yes, but Braden thinks being negative is the downside of science fiction. A downside is a
disadvantage, a bad point. He would prefer to see more optimistic science fiction.
Rob
Optimistic, more positive about the future, which is why Braden is taking part in something
called Project Hieroglyph. It brings together writers, scientists, engineers and artists to
create optimistic stories about things which really could happen in the next 50 years.
Finn
So let's talk about the kinds of things are happening in these stories?
6 Minute English ©British Broadcasting Corporation 2014
bbclearningenglish.com Page 3 of 5
Rob
Well, there's one about a huge tower 20 km tall – going all the way into space. Apparently,
building the tower is good for the US steel industry ... and they invent a new kind of energy
in the story too.
Finn
Sounds very interesting – but is it plausible – could it really happen? Could they really build
a tower that big?
Rob
Well, there's another about environmentalists who fight to stop people building the first
hotel in Antarctica.
Finn
Environmentalists – people who care about the environment. Well there's conflict there ...
and it's plausible, so it could be a good story. But I can't help thinking – will these stories
actually change anything?
Rob
Ed Finn, who edited a book of these stories, thinks so. He says: "A good science-fiction
story can be very powerful". "It can inspire hundreds, thousands, millions of people to rally
around something that they want to do."
Finn
To rally around something means to come together in support of a cause.
Rob
And Braden Allenby says you can already see the influence of science fiction in modern
research. Which item is being worked on right now?
Braden Allenby, Professor of Engineering and Ethics, Arizona State University
"Why are people working on, for example, invisibility cloaks? Well, it's Harry Potter, right?
That's where they saw it."
Finn
An invisibility cloak – a long coat which makes you invisible, in other words unable to be
seen – which people first saw in one of the Harry Potter movies.
Rob
Interesting ... so will the stories from Project Hieroglyph inspire people to do and invent
new things that can help others? Can they help create a bright future – that's a good, positive future? Or will they just be good stories?
6 Minute English ©British Broadcasting Corporation 2014
bbclearningenglish.com Page 4 of 5
Finn
Time will tell – that means we'll find out as time goes by. One thing that we're going to
find out right now is the answer to when the movie Blade Runner was set?
Rob
I said the answer was c) 2056.
Finn
And the answer was in fact b) 2019. A little bit earlier, Rob.
Rob
Q

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