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Issues in Science and Technology (IST) is a respected quarterly journal published by the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering that explores the intersections of science, technology, society and policy. The editors of IST believe that science fiction can help to bring key challenges and dilemmas in science and technology to an influential readership in new and compelling ways. Scientists, engineers, researchers and policymakers often only see small pieces of an issue. SF writers can imagine entire worlds. By fully thinking through how today’s critical issues will play out, science fiction inspires, cautions and guides those shaping our future.

Throughout 2015, starting with the Winter volume, IST will publish one SF story per issue, on topics of broad societal interest. Published stories may be accompanied by a brief commentary or response written by a member of the National Academies.

Contest Details

  1. Authors should submit a précis or brief treatment (no more than 250 words) of a science fiction story idea that explores themes in science, technology, and society. Submissions must be received by June 1, 2014. Email your submission and contact information to:
  2. Stories should fall into one of the following five theme areas:
    • Big data / artificial intelligence / brain science
    • Education / jobs / future of the economy
    • Defense / security / privacy / freedom
    • Biomedicine / genetics / health / future of the human
  3. Future of scientific research / automation of research & discovery
  4. The IST editors, in consultation with ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination, will select up to five semi-finalists for each category. Upon notification, authors will have 3 months to submit their story. Stories should be between 2,500 and 5,000 words. Final selections will be made by IST editors.
  5. Winners will have their stories published in IST and be awarded a $1,500 honorarium.
  6. Multiple submissions are acceptable. Please do not submit previously published work.