Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Toward a Science of Consciousness

by Rob - November 27th, 2009.
Filed under: Consciousness, Keynotes.

When I’m asked what scientific topic fascinates me the most, I usually cite consciousness studies. Certainly, the nature of consciousness — and the question of why we have internal lives, of why it is like something to be alive — is at the heart of much of my fiction, perhaps most notably these days in my Aurora Award-winning FlashForward (basis for the ABC TV series), but also including my Nebula Award-winning The Terminal Experiment, my Hugo Award-winning Hominids and its sequels, my John W. Campbell Memorial Award-winning Mindscan, my Hugo Award-nominated Factoring Humanity, and, of course, my current WWW trilogy, beginning with Wake, about the World Wide Web gaining consciousness.

As regular readers of this blog know, I give lots of keynote addresses … but, given the above, I am truly thrilled beyond measure to announce that I will be a keynote speaker at the ninth biennial conference Toward a Science of Consciousness, which will take place April 13-17, 2010, at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona.

My novels have often alluded to the work of Sir Roger Penrose and Dr. Stuart Hameroff in relation to the quantum-mechanical nature of consciousness. And although I did meet a bunch of super-cool TV stars when I was out in Los Angeles for two weeks earlier this month working on FlashForward, truly the highlight of the trip was the five-hour group dinner out with Stuart Hameroff (outdoors, at the wonderful Cat & Fiddle pub), arranged by my dear friends film director James Kerwin and actress/producer Chase Masterson.

Stuart and I had never met before, but we hit it off fabulously, and he and the rest of the programming committee have now invited me to give a keynote at the Tucson conference.

Independently, I’ve now got Stuart consulting on the FlashForward TV series. :)

Anyway, if you’re looking for a fascinating way to spend some time in April, come to the conference!

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