Center for Science and the Imagination

Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination brings writers, artists and other creative thinkers into collaboration with scientists, engineers and technologists to reignite humanity’s grand ambitions for innovation and discovery. The center serves as a network hub for audacious moonshot ideas and a cultural engine for thoughtful optimism. We provide a space for productive collaboration between the humanities and the sciences, bring human narratives to scientific questions, and explore the full social implications of cutting-edge research.

Frankenstein Bicentennial 

A free, interactive, multi-platform experience for kids. Developed in partnership with the award-winning transmedia studio No Mimes Media, with support from the National Science Foundation, Frankenstein200 is a digital narrative paired with hands-on activities at over 50 museums and science centers across the United States, plus the expertise of a global community of makers, tinkerers, and citizen scientists.


A collaborative, multimedia reading experiment with Mary Shelley’s classic novel, supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In partnership with The MIT Media Lab and The MIT Press, Frankenbook is built on a dynamic, open-source community platform that enables students, teachers, book clubs, Frankenstein aficionados, and curious members of the public to read, discuss, and share a customized version of the text based on specific themes and topics of interest, including the scientific, technological, political, and ethical dimensions of the novel, its historical context, and its enduring legacy. Readers can respond to more than 60 scholars and subject matter experts who annotated the book, or pen their own annotations for inclusion in the source text.

The project also features a set of seven original animated shorts exploring the long shadow of Frankenstein in contemporary science and ethics debates. We collaborated with Massive Science to produce the videos, which are freely available online.

Imagination and Climate Futures

Imagination is essential to the ability of individuals and societies to create, design and bring about the futures they want. Given the massive planetary changes currently in progress, the past is no longer a reliable guide to the future. Instead of relying on experience and stability, we have to make use of future-oriented science combined with our own dreams and desires and our ability to trigger and manage times of change. In the human-dominated Anthropocene, we need to learn about and practice wisely our collective power to influence the distant future – the world in which not only our children but our grandchildren’s grandchildren will live.

Future Tense

Future Tense is a partnership between ASU, the New America Foundation and Slate magazine to explore emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy. Future Tense hosts events and public conversations, and publishes original content from policymakers, scientists, humanists and journalists, including many ASU scholars, on Slate


Emerge is an art, science and technology festival that explores the future in evocative ways. As a public event, Emerge offers an imaginative look into the future, exposing the latest inventions underway at ASU and beyond, and asking how they might be shaped and adapted by society in surprising ways. By bringing together artists, scientists, humanists, designers and other performers and scholars, Emerge draws on ASU’s diverse disciplinary ecology and culture of interdisciplinary exchange to create vibrant portraits of alternative futures. Emerge presents a panoply of artwork, immersive experiences, interactive narratives and engaging performances that explore what’s to come, making the potential ramifications of our scientific, technological, and social decisions more tangible in the present. In doing so, Emerge explores the consequences, disruptions and opportunities of technological, social and cultural transformation. We pose penetrating questions about where we are heading and focus intently on how we can and will build the futures we desire. With attention to inclusivity and access, Emerge creates a participatory space for diverse communities to think, to play, to challenge, and to imagine collectively futures in which we all can thrive.