Amanda Ripley

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To Homeland Security and Beyond

3rd Jun 2009 posted in Resilience

The Department of Homeland Security has begun thinking outside this universe. According to a Washington Post article, they’re turning to science fiction writers. Apparently science fiction writers flocked to the 2009 Homeland Security Science & Technology Stakeholders Conference and offered imaginative ways to think about threats. This is considered “science fiction in the national interest” by the writers. Their services are pro bono, and most of the writers have a conventional science background, such as a PHd in physics. According to Rolf Dietrich, Homeland Security’s deputy director of research, the writers “help managers think more broadly about projects, especially about potential reactions and unintended consequences.” And how do the bureaucrats, in exchange, help the writers…? A free trip to Washington and a much-needed boost to the self-esteem of sci-fi geeks everywhere.