Science and fiction, technology and utopia – reality and the imagined are often closer together than one might think. It seems that the time frames of vision to realisation to monetisation have become smaller and shorter.

The science:fiction track seeks to cover all areas where science and technology intervene in our daily lives: where development and innovation meet culture and society and where culture and society fuel development and innovation.

We're also interested in looking to the future. What drives our imagination and what makes us dream up new paths in technology and science? The “Internet of Things” was first mentioned in 1999, today we're closer to “embedded intelligence”. Can devices keep up with this global technological adaptation?

In 1969, future visions prophesied a data network. In 2000, Arthur C. Clark said: “We could be in instant contact with each other, wherever we may be.” And: “It will be possible in that age … for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London.”

It is common for technological developments to have their origins in pop-culture. “Star Trek” had the holodeck and universal translators, “2001: A Space Odyssey” previewed tablets and digital media, while the stories of Frankenstein and Golem are the moulds for scientists' quest for artificial intelligence.

This track examines the visions and potentials of science, technology, and research. A glance at the tech industry already shows us that today's significant development can be tomorrow's serious concern. Finally, we are interested in dreams, puzzles, design, new materials, making, and hacking. At re:publica, technology is our vehicle for an optimistic future: robots are our friends!

Photo credit: re:publica/Sara Dacci (CC BY-SA 2.0)