05 Jun 2017

Conquering Outer Space – Is it Science or Fiction?

As part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, STIS PhD student and innovation researcher, Matjaz Vidmar, and STIS Visiting Fellow and acclaimed science fiction author, Pippa Goldschmidt, are to debate the future of human activity beyond the Earth in a show titled: Outer Space – The Next Empire?

In an hour of literary drama, comedy and engaging discussion with the audience, the pair will be exploring big questions such as: Who does outer space belong to, and are humans its only intelligent tenants/owner-occupiers? Will colonising space soon become our business-as-usual, and should we be doing it at all? Can we cause any harm to whoever else might be out there or are we likely to be harmed ourselves?

The event is part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas series, which is a joint Beltane Public Engagement Network and Fair Pley production, successfully taking science to the Fringe for the fifth time in 2017. Matjaz is also not a stranger to dangerous ideas, as he has done another Cabaret show last year, called “Let Big Brother Watch!”

On the release of the 2017 Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas programme Matjaz commented: “I am so delighted to be returning to the Fringe with this show, as we are planning to make it as exciting for the audience as any of the big Fringe productions, but with more discussion and engagement. Pippa is an amazing story-teller and I am so honoured to be working with her to create this very special event.

“Though we will intertwine fact with fiction to set the scene, we are looking forward to talking about the scientific and social impact of space exploration, whilst also questioning some of the accepted norms and challenging pre-conceptions. Arts, and especially literature, is great in enabling an open and frank discussion about not only the present, but also the future of scientific and technological development.

This is very well illustrated in this review (by Iain Maloney) of Pippa’s collection of short stories, ‘The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space’: “Science is a tool for understanding the universe, but in Pippa Goldschmidt’s hands it is also a metaphor through which we can better understand ourselves.”

Outer Space – The Next Empire? is on 5th August, 1.50pm, at the New Town Theatre in George Street.

Tickets can be bought via the Fringe Box Office or on-line: bit.ly/OuterSpaceEmpire