Meet David Brin
David Brin is a scientist, best-selling author and tech-futurist. His novels include Earth, The Postman (filmed in 1997) and Hugo Award winners Startide Rising andThe Uplift War. A leading commentator and speaker on modern trends, his nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. Brin's newest novel EXISTENCE explores the ultimate question: billions of planets are ripe for life. So where is Everybody? David's main thread: how will we shape the days and years ahead -- and how will tomorrow shape us?
Although he explores many fields, heedless of credentials, Brin does have degrees from Caltech and UCSD (PhD in Physics, working with Nobelist Hannes Alfven). As a speaker Brin shares unique and often humorous insights to the way technology may affect our human future.
Some Topics I'm Asked to Discuss
- A new millennium has people thinking about the nature of the near future. Audiences seem eager to explore wide possibilities -- dark and bright -- for what challenges may confront us in the years ahead. Avoiding pat answers and sensationalism, I cover a broad range of plausible tomorrows, both near and far. The future will be what we make of it.
- Drawn into stark contrast by recent events, I'm hired to consult on radical transparency: Security, privacy and intrusive surveillance in our lives. As cameras get smaller, cheaper and more mobile -- and new threats crowd in all around -- is Big Brother on the horizon? Or will new technologies empower private citizens in unexpected ways? Against the popular trend of panic and secrecy, I've been urging calm, candor and openness, beginning with The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?... which at one point brought me to testify in the U.S. Senate. I've been asked to give more than fifty speeches, interviews and consultations on this topic alone.
- Creativity and business success. Because I have achieved success in several arts and sciences, I'm often asked how to spot opportunities and trends, how best to take advantage of them... and how to catch the mistakes we always kick ourselves for missing. I point out some of the ways we're already doing this... and a few tricks to enhance the trend. I also provide groups with Corporate Creativity Exercisesdesigned to spur creative thinking, by challenging CTOs and others to work together in an ad hoc team, analyzing a major problem and fleshing out a solution in just 48 hours.
- Interest has been stirred by my proposal for a new approach to philanthropy. In an era when perhaps twenty trillion dollars may pass between generations, many bold projects stand outside the typical investment horizons of governments and corporations. A new century calls for new ideas. (See also my article onphilanthropy.)
- My novel Earth (a N.Y. Times bestseller) deals vividly with the future of our planet's living environment. Tech pundits also credit this novel with predicting many aspects of the World Wide Web! But the area of planetary management -- whether we can both thrive as a species and care for the world responsibly -- is where the book achieved its biggest reputation.
- As a participant in SETI -- the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence -- I appear often in person and on TV, debunking so-called UFOs (in a way that leaves audiences roaring with laughter) while explaining how real life in the universe may be far more interesting. I am also a regular "space expert" at Imax Theaters and planetariums.
- Scientific issues that I've explored in fiction, and have been asked to talk about, include: cloning, immortality, bio-warfare, psychology, time travel and the prospects for continuing human and non-human evolution.
- From novels such as Startide Rising and The Uplift War, I have a reputation as an authority on dolphins and chimpanzees, and how humanity may relate to other creatures in the future.
- I've also been invited to speak on theology in the scientific age. (Believe it or not!) A fascinating topic... though one that I feel just a bit less qualified or knowledgeable about!
- My novel, The Postman, was filmed by Kevin Costner. Describing this roller-coaster experience puts listeners in stitches.