Join us virtually or in person for the 2021 Arthur C. Clarke Awards and the Clarke Conversation on Imagination
November 17, 2021
Unleash Imagination is a social evening of conversation, dinner and a panel discussion with our three Arthur C. Clarke awardees. Together they will take on this year’s Clarke Conversation on Imagination topic:
Fracturing the “box” with fresh ideas for an ailing world
If we close our eyes and time travel perhaps as far back as our childhoods, most of us can remember what we thought was our first big idea. It grew from our imagination, our natural creativity, and our curiosity about and engagement in the world. How very exciting! Now, if we travel forward a bit, many of us can also recall the first time we were told that that idea might be lovely, even brilliant, but we couldn’t do it. It was too messy, too complicated, too risky, a diversion from what we were supposed to do, or some other version of “no.” We all know that not all new ideas are good ideas. Some are downright bad or dangerous. However, think of how much better we might be as individuals and societies had imaginative and creative thinking and actions been encouraged in each stage of our lives, at home, in school, in the workplace, in our cultural DNA. Yet we can see that too often the opposite is true. Our hyper-focus on achievement, while it has certain benefits, also leaves little time and individual and institutional willingness to vary off of preset paths with fresh thinking and creative action.
The 2021 Clarke awardees, extraordinary achievers in quite diverse fields, have allowed their imaginations to link to their talents and expertise to push boundaries of how we humans understand our universe, Planet Earth, and how we can create a better world for those of us who inhabit it. Arthur Clarke challenged us, noting that “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” Conversation moderator, Steve Scully, will engage the awardees on what challenges they view as the ones that loom largest for society, ones that that if not adequately and creatively addressed will burden our next generations. What are they, are we prepared as policy-makers, corporations, and individuals to harness opportunities and mitigate harm? How might we go about changing the value that society places on fostering greater imaginative achievement in our education, businesses and institutions, government and among the person on the street. We hear a lot about advancing “innovation”. Are we going about it the right way? What are the roles that scientists, writers and producers, and others play that they are not yet doing.
During a moment in our history where the political divisions are sharp, this conversation will allow you to take a step back, reflect, for a creative/imaginative moment of contemplation and promise. We will have a call for questions and will invite young people to join us in ensuring that their questions are raised. We invite you all to be prepared to raise your issues.
Moderated by American Broadcast Journalist, Steve Scully
Mr. Scully is the former host and producer for its morning call-in
show Washington Journal, as well as The Weekly, C-SPAN’s podcast. Scully served on the board of the White House Correspondents Association for nine years, including as president from 2006 to 2007. Earlier this year In Scully became vice president of communications at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
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And be sure to get to know our awardees below before they appear in the Clarke Conversation on Imagination!
Introducing the 2021
Arthur C. Clarke Awardees
The Sir Arthur Clarke Lifetime Achievement Awardee
Dr. Michio Kaku
for Exceptional Contributions as a
Theoretical Physicist, Futurist, and Science Popularizer
Dr. Michio Kaku is one of the world’s most widely recognized figures in science today. He has written several international best sellers, and five New York Times Best-Sellers including his latest The God Equation: The Quest for the Theory of Everything and Future of Humanity, and The Future of the Mind.
Dr. Kaku is the science correspondent for national CBS This Morning, and his weekly science radio show reaches 100 U.S. cities. He has also hosted numerous science specials on the Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and BBC-TV, and has appeared on the David Letterman Show, Good Morning America, Today Show, CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert, HBO, Stephen Colbert Report, CNN, the History Channel, PBS-TV, National Geographic, and all the major news media.
He was recently chosen as “one of the most influential physicists in the world today” by Academic Influence. His goal is to complete Einstein’s dream of a “theory of everything,” to derive an equation, perhaps no more than one inch long, which will summarize all the physical laws of the universe.
He is a professor of theoretical physics in the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center.
The Sir Arthur Clarke Imagination in Service to Society Awardee
Samuel R. Delany
for Outstanding Contributions to Fiction, Criticism and Essays on Science Fiction, Literature and Society
Samuel R. Delany, whom everyone calls Chip, is an award winning writer of fiction, memoir, criticism and essays on science fiction, literature, sexuality, and society, and a former University professor. In 2016, he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.
Mr. Delany is the author of Babel 17, Nova, Dhalgren, Dark Reflections, Atlantis: Three Tales, the Return to Nevèrÿon series, an autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water, and the paired essays Times Square Red/Times Square Blue. Dark Reflections won the Stonewall Book Award for 2008, and in 2015 he won the Nicolas Guillén Award for Philosophical Literature, and in 1997 the Kessler Award for LGBTQ Studies.
Mr. Delany has won four Nebula Awards from the Science Fiction Writers of America, and two Hugo Awards from the World Science Fiction Convention. In 2013, he was made a Grand Master of Science Fiction, following in the steps of Asimov, Heinlein, and Le Guin.
The Sir Arthur Clarke Innovator’s Awardee
for Inspiring TV Programs that Demonstrate the Role of Science in Uncovering Nature’s Wonders
NOVA is the most watched prime time science series on U.S. television, as well as a multimedia, multiplatform enterprise, reaching more than 55 million Americans every year on TV and online. In its 48th season, with over 900 episodes aired on PBS, NOVA remains committed to telling in depth science stories that resonate with viewers of all ages and backgrounds including both science journalism and science communication. The program has been recognized with the industry’s most prestigious awards, including 28 Emmys, 26 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, 9 George Foster Peabody Awards, and 12 Dupont Columbia Awards. NOVA tells stories that make complex science topics like quantum physics and chemistry accessible to a general audience. They celebrate new scientific discoveries, as well as stories that are centered at the intersection of science, society, and social justice. Accepting on behalf of NOVA are Co-Executive Producers Julia Cort and Chris Schmidt.
Co-Executive Producer NOVA
Julia Cort, together with Co -EP Chris Schmidt, oversees the long running PBS science series NOVA and is committed to making inclusive science documentaries that are accessible to all. During her time with the series, she has contributed to more than one hundred films and miniseries, covering everything from quantum mechanics to genetic engineering to climate change. Ms. Cort’s work has been honored with the George Foster Peabody Award, the National Academies Keck Communication Award, the AAAS Science Journalism Award, the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, the Alfred I. duPont Columbia Award and the News & Documentary Emmy.
Co-Executive Producer, NOVA
Chris is an award winning producer and director of documentaries and factual television series. Primarily focused on long form films, Chris oversees NOVA’s development team in creating new multihour projects in collaboration with U.S. filmmakers and international co producers. Since joining NOVA in 2012, he has developed and contributed to more than 100 groundbreaking films and series including The Planets, Black Hole Apocalypse, Great Math Mystery, Einstein’s Quantum Riddle Eclipse Over America, Making North America, Hunting The Elements, Making Stuff, and Cyberwar Threat. His work has received the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Award, the AAAS Gold Kavli Science Journalism award, the Cine Golden Eagle and many nominations for the News and Documentary Emmy Award.