Arula Ratnakar

Arula Ratnakar is a neuroscientist and science fiction author. Her published stories can be found in Clarkesworld Magazine. Arula Ratnakar is a scientist, artist, science fiction writer and aspiring astronaut. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2021, where she studied biology, neuroscience and architecture. She now works in a neuroscience lab, where she is interested in studying neurophotonics, the intersection of declarative and procedural memory, and brain simulation science. All four of her published stories can be found in Clarkesworld Magazine and her artwork can be found in the first issue of Dark Matter Magazine. She is autistic and bisexual.
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The BIPOC POV in Hard SF

June 7, 2024 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

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One of the joys of hard science fiction lies in its opportunity to communicate science through storytelling. To communicate not only the exciting research and concepts, but also the practice of science, the joys and frustrations that come with being a scientist (anyone from any background who engages rigorously with those evidence-based philosophies of understanding the world).

Historically, hard science fiction has been dominated by viewpoints originating from western European and American thought written largely by white/cis/het men. And also historically, an environment of exclusion and gatekeeping, rather than inclusion and communication. This turns countless people away from hard science fiction, because they are told that if they cannot make it through poorly explained, dense, intentionally exclusionary science in stories, they are not meant for the subgenre.

In this panel we will discuss the term hard SF, its use, current state, and the future from a BIPOC lens.

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