DAVID BRIN looks at science and technology

David Brin is best-known for shining light — plausibly and entertainingly — on technology, society, and countless challenges confronting our rambunctious civilization. His best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. Other novels are translated into 25+ languages. His short stories explore vividly speculative ideas. Brin's nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy.

As a scientist, tech-consultant and world-known author, he speaks, advises, and writes widely on topics from national defense and homeland security to astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction, creativity, and philanthropy. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications.

Here are net-accessible articles, interviews, and essays about how we can best use science & technology to achieve our most difficult goals.

other pages on this site

where Brin explores, discovers & invents

  • continuing our space & seti explorations
  • solving our privacy & openness, security & transparency crises
  • facing our 21st century challenges & opportunities
  • creating our near & far futures
  • finding the money & will to achieve it all
  • discussing scientific advances

    spark ideas, discoveries, discussions & conversations

  • blog: Contrary Brin
  • appearances: public speaker and consulting authority
  • scoop.it!: Science and Space: Exploring new frontiers
  • contributor: Closer to Truth
  • scoop.it!: Using Science Fiction to Teach Science
  • other great resources

    Brin recommends these books, articles & websites

  • Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon, ed. by James & Gregory Benford (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)
  • Millennium: From Religion to Revolution, by Ian Mortimer (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)
  • Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, by Chris Mooney (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)
  • Science 2.0

  • articles about science and technology

    What new tools are the world's greatest toolmakers devising?

    a chorus of change

    disputation arenas

    can we crowdsource wisdom?

    Media advances don't always liberate, at first. The tracts that emerged from printing presses enflamed Europe's 16th Century religious hatreds, while the 1930s-era radio and loudspeakers helped consolidate the power of tyrants. Our new media — the Internet — has inspired its own peril: the rise of fake news and too-easy proliferation of alt-facts. Can ordinary citizens separate truth from manipulation before the harm spreads? Brin's proposal, as outlined in "Disputation Arenas: Harnessing Conflict and Competitiveness for Society's Benefit," could teach us how to out-run a lie.

    addiction to self-righteousness

    our most dangerous addiction

    is there a cure for self-righteousness?

    Could a single scientific breakthrough help get us past today's rising mass frenzy of self-righteousness that has poisoned politics in the United States and some other countries? Brin has long corresponded with experts, trying to find out. The resulting essay, "Addicted to Self-Righteousness? An Open Letter to Researchers In the Fields of Addiction, Brain Chemistry, and Social Psychology," led to papers in psychiatric journals and a speech at the National Institutes for Drugs and Addiction.

    industrial age inventor

    is the web helping us evolve?

    what will we become?

    The Internet — that magnificent new world for latter-day explorers, more vast than any realm discovered by Columbus or Magellan. Optimists point out how much more knowledge the average person can access, predicting better minds and savvier citizenry. Pessimists perceive a dumbing-down effect that spreads users too thin, resulting in shallowness that could be detrimental to politics and clear thinking. This David Brin essay (available as an audiobook on Amazon (#AmazonCommissionsEarned) and iTunes) weighs the evidence and ponders whether it may be possible to profit from this revolution of vision and memory — as we did from others that came before.

    our path to AI

    when AI earns our empathy

    Here's an update to my 2022 NEWSWEEK op-ed on the ChatGPT and art AI revolution, which is happening EXACTLY on the predicted schedule — though (alas) I don't see anyone yet talking about the 'secret sauce' that might offer us a soft landing.

    costs more to ignore than fix the climate

    the science of denying denialism

    Here David Brin offers some rebuttals to those denying the possibilty of human-caused climate change — with links to the full climate science. It's extended, exhausting and somewhat repetitious. Print it out before your next crazy-uncle encounter. BONUS: Print too the latest report that details how denialism is beginning to harm the economy.

    climate science meets the inquisition

    creating a climate of change

    Every election opens a new front in the seemingly-neverending Global Climate Change culture war. Trained as a scientist, and knowing many who research the atmospheres of 8 planets or who propelled spectacular advances in weather forecasting, Brin tends toward listening to expert advice on this one — especially since we're only being asked to do things we should be doing anyway. In 2007 he posted an essay dealing with some logical flaws in the denial-movement, going after those who claim: "I'm not denying science, just asking questions!"

    climate change of mind

    is it culture war or climate war?

    Nothing demonstrates the silliness of left-right "culture war" more than the illogical fight over human-caused climate change (HCC). People who take fierce positions over a scientific matter based on their politics should be ashamed of themselves. Originally published in Skeptic Magazine, "Skeptics versus Deniers: Creating a Climate of 'No!'" shows you how to tell a true "skeptic" from an opportunistic "denialist."

    industrial age inventor

    crowdsourcing "citizen-science" from today's Edisons

    Entrepreneur? Tinkerer? Whatever your level of involvement, you can have the satisfaction of sponsoring humanity's greatest endeavors. In an era when political factions and media empires are waging relentless "war on science" this trend toward active participation — or providing some financial support for ideas and inventions you love — is the surest way to help support an active, vigorous, future-hungry and scientific civilization. In Existence, he portrays this trend as it can become, as individuals and small groups become ever more agile at sleuthing, data collection and analysis & forming very very smart, ad-hoc, problem-solving 'smart mobs.'

    remediation of the land

    geoengineering our climate — by land

    Managing the climate in the face of global warming is a wicked problem that requires getting almost every independent nation to coordinate. What would a system of global governance look like that's up to the true challenges ahead? And how do we start thinking about whether we need to take more desperate interim steps in the form of geoengineering projects that may not require global political consensus?

    remediation of our oceans

    geoengineering our climate — by sea

    "Geoengineering" is no substitute for responsibly investing in energy efficiency and finding ways to maintain a great civilization without ruining our planet. Even if a few such methods are found that work well, without crackpot flaws and/or gruesome side effects, that won't let us off the hook from our shared and individual responsibilities, which include seeking alternate, sustainable forms of energy to replace the irresponsible spewing of greenhouse pollutants into our atmosphere. Those who have been lured into participating in a War on Science must be introduced to its value, and the cynical men who are financing this cult exposed as the enemies of humankind they are.

    asteroid mining

    re-igniting our can-do spirit

    It appears that a small cabal of the "good" Billionaires — those who got rich through innovation and who feel loyal to the future — are about to to fund a new effort worth some excitement and attention. It aims at transforming not just our Earth, but the whole solar system. And, along the way, this endeavor may help bootstrap us back into our natural condition... a species, nation and civilization that believes (again) in can-do ambition. Can that be achieved — while increasing prosperity for all by adding trillions of dollars to the global GDP?

    the re-inventors

    the second era of humans in space

    David led an amazing roundtable of people working both inside and outside NASA, including Geoffrey Landis, Chris McKay, Rusty Schweickart, and Ariel Waldman, as they roughed out some of the ambitious new goals that could animate this next era in space, ranging from mining asteroids, to setting up solar energy stations in orbit, to exploring for life in the roofed water worlds of our solar system.

    David Brin at Google Headquarters

    exploring above, improving below

    David presents "A SciFi Author's take on space technology innovations in the near and distant future" at Vint Cerf's Space Technology Innovations Conference at Google Headquarters. How likely is it that we can renew enthusiasm for expanding civilization into space?

    job opportunities in the solar system

    2015: our best year in space yet!

    It's time we looked outward... toward the vast, vast majority of all there is. And after decades of doldrums, it seems we truly are regaining some momentum in space exploration. We are a people who are doing wondrous things, exploring our solar system with pennies out of each citizen's pocket... without abandoning progress down here on Earth. Let's listen to the problem-solvers who will go ahead and save the world — and go on to the stars — despite the negative glooom-sayers.

    external tank

    mobile homes in space?

    How might human beings live and work in space by the turn of the century? Some enthusiastic studies have suggested that colonies in orbit or on the Moon could mean the beginning of a new era of prosperity, once the resources of space are exploited by advanced industries. The problem with these wonderful plans seems to be getting started. Today's politician isn't eager to invest in space development programs that will only begin paying for themselves — maybe — after two decades or more. But what if someone were to offer a way to repurpose what's already shipped into space?

    singularities and possibilities

    how will we chart our future?

    In one of the boldest and most popular essays about our destiny, "Singularities and Nightmares: Extremes of Optimism and Pessimism About the Human Future," David Brin explores a startling range of possible changes available to us — changes that could occur within the next twenty or so years, roughly a single human generation. It's an opportunity for humanity and the Earth to avoid dangers and inspire hopeful futures — if that's what we choose. Weigh the range of possibilities for yourself. This article is also available on the Lifeboat Foundation website.

    brain by design

    brain by design

    What will happen as we enter the era of human augmentation, artificial intelligence and government-by-algorithm? Those fretfully debating artificial intelligence might best start by appraising the half dozen general pathways under exploration in laboratories around the world. While they overlap, they offer distinct implications for what characteristics emerging, synthetic minds might display, including (for example) whether it will be easy or hard to instill human-style ethical values.

    Continue reading more articles about science and technology.

    a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

    To learn more, visit his books page, or see his "about me" page or detailed biography.

    DAVID BRIN author


    David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More

    shorter fiction

    Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More

    Contrary Brin blog

    Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More

    social media influencer

    Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More

    DAVID BRIN scientist


    David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More

    transparency expert

    Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More

    speaker & consultant

    Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 300 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings. Learn More

    future/tech advisor

    Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More

    Contacting BRIN

    All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin

    an ornery, contrary BLOG, and other insightful wormholes!

    Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's incendiary posts on science, sci-fi and politics and its engaged, opinionated community poke at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate — and infuriate. See for yourself, and if you like — subscribe for more.

    Questions? Concerns? Email DAVID BRIN at mail@davidbrin.com


    facebook followers and fans

      join me on Facebook


    twitter followers

      join me on Twitter


    quora followers

      join me on Quora

    get on the Brin newsletter!

    DAVID BRIN newsletter sign-up

    subscribe to David Brin's newsletter and keep up to date on his books, signings and appearances

    pinterest boards

    DAVID BRIN Pinterest

    share David Brin's pins from these Pinterest boards and share the word about science and science fiction

    other points of contact

    visit other pages on this website

    pages about DAVID BRIN

  • latest news and activities
  • information about DAVID BRIN
  • public speaking and consulting & popular topics
  • speaking/consulting references and testimonials & a list of past appearances
  • print and podcast interviews
  • video interviews and talks
  • Brin's presskit and complete biography
  • traditional media and social media
  • Brin quotes and frequently asked questions
  • pages about BRIN's science fiction

  • Brin's novels and books
  • Brin's short stories and novellas
  • all about Brin's uplift universe
  • a selection of book reviews
  • Brin's special-order books for sale
  • Brin's advice for new writers
  • Brin reviews sci fi films — including The Postman
  • a compilation of great sf books to read
  • recommended sf films
  • science fiction that teaches
  • BRIN's nonfiction explorations

  • privacy, security, accountability and transparency
  • designing and crafting our amazing 21st Century
  • predicting and projecting our near and far future
  • leading and following our politics and economy
  • keeping track of changes in science and technology
  • scanning our sky for habitable (inhabited?) worlds