(Science) Fiction Imaginaries and Policy
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Modern-day democracies are investigating how to deal with long term problems that do not incentivize enough action in the present to prevent great problems in the future, like climate change. One possible solution could be that alternative, positive futures are to be collectively imagined, different from dystopian futures that can be painted by climate models or scientific predictions. Imagining these desirable futures has been proven to be difficult: some have argued that we are currently amid a crisis of the imagination. Intriguingly, cultural artefacts could aid in stimulating imaginaries of alternative futures. More specifically, science and climate fiction could be specifically suited for this purpose. The question that was therefore asked in this research is: to what extent can (science) fiction can stimulate policy makers to think of alternative futures? Ten policy makers participated in this study, who used science and climate fiction to create imaginaries of future worlds. Results revealed that most policymakers found that science and climate fiction stimulated them to think of alternative futures. However, most policymakers found that science fiction was not the most useful tool to create imaginaries for a policy setting. Recommendations are therefore made that future thinking is policy settings is stimulated, but that improvement are made for using methods to do this.