Kim Stanley Robinson, Sci-Fi Author Bio and Contact Info
Listen (3:30) Creating plot when science wants to be boring
Listen (3:22) Genetics and the distant past
Listen (5:09) The mental voyage
Listen (6:35) Why don't we value diagnostics?
Listen (4:58) Medicine has always been utopian
Listen (4:28) The Silicon Valley Fantasy Trip
Listen (9:12) The open question of aging
Since first interviewing sci-fi author, Kim Stanley Robinson, I find myself wondering what he might think about this or that topic that comes up on Mendelspod. So we invited him back to weigh in on themes that continually resurface here on the program.
For example, what are his thoughts on why we value therapeutics so much higher than diagnostics? And what level of regulation is appropriate? Should there be government imposed controls on drug pricing?
Stan is never short of a well reasoned answer. In today’s interview he takes on what he calls the Silicon Valley Fantasy Trip and the naivety of futurists—who he reminds us are also sci-fi writers—such as Peter Diamandis.
“Two or three billion people on this planet go to bed hungry every night and don’t have basic healthcare, don’t have toilets,” he says. "So the researchers on the edge of biotech are like the games the French aristocracy were playing right before the revolution, and they got their heads chopped off. Here’s what you have to say to them, ‘Get real. Just because you’re a trillionaire doesn’t mean the world is in good shape.'”
We start the interview with a chat about two of Stan’s recent works, Shaman and Galileo’s Dream.
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