A composite of images from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Elysium
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Project Hieroglyph: Science fiction for a better future

Movies, television and books have painted a darkly dystopian vision of the future. Science fiction writers and innovators warn such entertainment can have deep long-term impacts, and tell the BBC that creating more optimistic views of tomorrow is crucial to influencing how we approach it.

At Arizona State University (ASU), science fiction writers and scientists have joined together to learn from, and influence, each other to envision better tomorrows.

Called Project Hieroglyph, the project pairs renowned science fiction writers with scientists to imagine optimistic, technically-grounded science fiction stories. The stories should depict futures achievable within the next roughly half century.

Those stories, collected in a book, also entitled Hieroglyph, will be released on 9 September.

The BBC spoke to Project Hieroglyph director Ed Finn and ASU professor Braden Allenby about how science fiction can help shape the future.

Produced by the BBC's Deborah Siegelbaum, Ashley Semler and Bill McKenna; filmed by Travis Peterson

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