Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology Lecture Series: Frederick Turner

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Cecil H. Green Hall (GR)
Season: 2016-2017

Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology Lecture Series: The Power of Science Fiction About the Reading: By 2067, the Antarctic ice sheets have collapsed and are melting, world sea levels have risen several feet and are rising faster still, the climate has changed catastrophically, and the poem opens with a graphic description of a devastating arctic hurricane. A team of genius misfits is recruited by the billionaire Noah Blazo to by-pass the political and ideological gridlock that has paralyzed the world powers, and to solve the problem through the creative commons. A volunteer geo-engineering effort is launched, with the support of an island coalition and coastal nations like Nigeria and Bangladesh that are especially threatened. The upshot is a global political struggle that erupts into dramatic naval warfare, employing military technologies that are now only on the horizon. In the course of the struggle something of very great spiritual significance emerges, with tragic consequences. The poem pivots into a further Odyssey that involves the deepest and most passionate relationships and a transformed vision of the meaning of life. About the Author: Frederick Turner’s science fiction epic poems gained him the distinction of being a consultant for NASA’s long-range futures group, through which he met Carl Sagan and the originators of the Mars colony movement. He received Hungary’s highest literary honor for his translations of Hungarian poetry with the distinguished scholar and Holocaust survivor Zsuzsanna Ozsváth, received Poetry’s Levinson Prize, and has often been nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature. Born in England, raised in Africa by his anthropologist parents Victor and Edie Turner, and educated at Oxford University, he is also known as a Shakespearean scholar, a leading theorist of environmentalism, an expert on the philosophy of Time, and the poet laureate of traditional Karate. He has taught at UC Santa Barbara, edited the Kenyon Review, and is presently Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas.
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