Stephen Webb is a science fiction fan who's passionately interested in what the future might hold for our species.

Why you should listen

An early preoccupation with science fiction ended up influencing most of Stephen Webb's professional activity. It instilled in him a deep love of science and the scientific endeavor, which in turn led him to complete a PhD in theoretical particle physics. Isaac Asimov's story "The Fun They Had," about computerized homeschooling, prompted him to consider how digital technology might deepen students' learning, which in turn led to posts in a variety of UK universities.

And it was in the pages of a science fiction magazine that he first encountered the Fermi paradox, which kindled a lifelong fascination with the problem of why we see no signs of extraterrestrial intelligence -- and led to his book Where Is Everybody, which explores the question in detail. Webb hopes to pass on his love of science through his outreach work, and he is the author of a number of popular science books. He is working on New Light Through Old Windows, an anthology of classic science fiction tales; each tale appears alongside a commentary detailing the latest scientific thinking relating to the story's theme.

Stephen Webb’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Stephen Webb

Live from TED2018

In Case You Missed It: Finding space to dream at day 3 at TED2018

April 13, 2018

TED2018 hit its stride on day 3, with talks from explorers of space and oceans, builders of cities and bridges, engineers of the future and many more. Here are some of the themes we heard echoing through the opening day, as well as some highlights from around the conference venue in Vancouver. Are we alone […]

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Live from TED2018

Space to dream: Notes from Session 5 at TED2018

April 12, 2018

Session 5, hosted by TED Curator Chris Anderson and astrophysicist and TED Fellow Jedidah Isler, is called “space to dream.” As Isler points out, we’re not just talking about outer space — it’s also about “the right to take up space, to dream, to do.” Seven dreamers, doers and designers offer a variety of ways […]

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