Scientists in Power in Science and Techno‑Utopias (“Flight of the Earth” and “The Transhumanist Wager”)
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Keywords

Political Agency of Science
Science Utopia
Techno-Utopia
Scientists’ Governance
Science and Society
Francis Carsak
Techna
Trills
Zoltan Istvan
Transhumanism

How to Cite

Shibarshina, S. (2022). Scientists in Power in Science and Techno‑Utopias (“Flight of the Earth” and “The Transhumanist Wager”). Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 4(4), 309-326. https://doi.org/10.46539/gmd.v4i4.287

Abstract

The article considers the social-political power of scientists and engineers in science fiction illustrated by F. Carsak’s “Flight of the Earth” and Z. Istvan’s “The Transhumanist Wager”. These novels depict scientists and engineers as full-fledged political agents possessing or sharing with others the supreme power and describe situations of conflicts between them and other social groups. The article focuses on how such utopias deal with scientists’ social responsibility and interactions between scientists and non-scientists. In F. Carsak’s novel, scientists form the social-political group of technas along with technicians and engineers. They behave in a noble, highly moral, hyper-responsible and self-sacrificing way. As for Z. Istvan, he empowers transhumanists who have taken over the world and founded a global technological society; yet, he says nothing about their social and ethical responsibility. Another most important component of the plot is the confrontation between scientists and “ordinary citizens”. The author finalizes her article with the following conclusions. First, both novels ignore the complex nature of scientists and engineers as social groups and of the intersection of interests between scientists and non-scientists. F. Carsak portrays the technas as a close-knit community, a collective consciousness endowed with organic solidarity and collective identity. Secondly, both novels are marked with a certain schematicity of the patterns, such as science vs religion, scientists as carriers of progress, etc. Third, both novels appear belletristic manifestos: “The Flight of the Earth” is full of philosophical optimism, while “The Transhumanist Wager” seems a manifesto of techno-scientific rationalism, ethical individualism and rational egoism.

https://doi.org/10.46539/gmd.v4i4.287
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