Professor Rosalyn Berne
Randolph-Macon College will host Professor Rosalyn Berne, who will discuss the predicted
convergence of nano-and biotechnology with information- and cognitive sciences on
November 7, 2013 at 4 p.m. in the
Writing Center (2nd floor, McGraw-Page Library).
This event is free and open to the public.
Map and Directions
Berne will share how her science-fiction writing responds to the social changes
that these emerging technologies are likely to bring. Included will be a brief reading
from her novel Waiting in the Silence and her thoughts about opening up
to the creative writing process when extrapolating from current technology and science.
Refreshments and discussion will follow.
Gayla Mills, director of the Writing Center, says Berne’s talk will help
students see how they can use what they learn in their classes, particularly scientific
knowledge, as a basis for writing fiction.
“We are so fortunate to hear from someone who combines her knowledge of nano-and
biotech with her examination of ethical issues to write science fiction,” says Mills.
“As a professor at UVA, Dr. Berne is also familiar with the interests of college
students and can discuss their point of view in a way that some writers might struggle
About Rosalyn Berne
As associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at the
University of Virginia, Berne teaches courses such as Science, Technology and Contemporary
Issues: Science Fiction and The Future, and Science, Fiction and New Reproductive
Technologies. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award,
which for five years supported her research on ethics in nanotechnology development.
Berne has served on the advisory boards of the Journal of Nanotechnology Ethics,
and the Journal of Nanotechnology Education.
Berne has been a guest on National Public Television’s “Science Friday,” and was
a featured panelist on NPR’s Fred Friendly nanotechnology seminar, “Power of the
Small,” in which she discussed societal and ethical facets of nanotechnology. Berne’s
novel Waiting in the Silence (Spore Press, 2012) explores the meaning of
procreation, privacy, aging and spirituality in a world where novel technologies
have emerged from convergences of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information, neuro-and
cognitive sciences. Just completed is the book To Recreate Life from Life: Biotechnology
and Science Fiction (Pan Stanford Press). As an edited volume it combines
non-fiction essays written by scientists about their fields in biotechnology, with
science fiction short stories authored by Berne and other contributors.