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Questions tagged [science-in-society]

For questions about the use and perception of science by the inhabitants of a fictional world. Contrast with [science-based] which is for explaining fictional things with real-world science. Whereas [science-based] builds worlds using science (ex. "How could a dragon realistically breathe fire?"), [science-in-society] asks how people treat and use science in-world (ex. "How would a society with a taboo on dissecting people develop medicine?").

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17 votes
16 answers
6k views

Why aren’t there advanced computers in an advanced society?

In the universe in question, there’s another intelligent silicon-based species, with the typical member of the species being many times as intelligent as humans. With intimate knowledge of quantum ...
27 votes
21 answers
7k views

Why does my futuristic society want transparent iPads and computer monitors?

Transparent iPads/computer monitors seem to be a staple of sci-fi (Star Wars, some of the new Marvel stuff, Red Notice etc). The screen is always functioning on the side of the Reader, and the ...
22 votes
16 answers
5k views

Why would magic and science be split?

As previously noted, magic would most likely be able to be studied by the scientific method. Indeed, science would likely at least try to understand magic, if not incorporate it. My question is, what ...
5 votes
1 answer
252 views

If you had a fusion reactor the size of a suitcase, would it be possible to power a car with it via a steam turbine with 1950's level technology?

The specifics of the reactor are intentionally vague. It would be a form of lattice-confinement, produce very little radiation, and be scaled up or down very easily. I'm working on a Fallout-like ...
3 votes
3 answers
193 views

Could these technologies be fabricated and utilised by this semi-industrialised society?

I have this society that has enjoyed some rather fantastical circumstances resulting in a unique path of technological advancement, and I need help figuring out what kind of technologies they would be ...
6 votes
10 answers
825 views

Noticing a space-fight or, A muzzle-flash on the deep

It’s Earth, the modern day…and in the out there, there is a fight going on. Two vast space-empires duel for survival, locked in hateful combat. Clashes of fleets and individual spaceships are the most ...
3 votes
2 answers
191 views

Materials Revolution [closed]

It's 2012, and a big extraterrestrial space vehicle (Secretly created by an ET ultra-intelligent entity) explodes in Earth's orbit, and its pieces crash on the surface and into the oceans. (The ...
108 votes
18 answers
28k views

Would somebody from the middle ages be able to identify an atomic / nuclear bomb?

Setting: a fantasy world with a culture loosely based on the late middle ages or early renaissance, with more value placed on the fantasy elements than strictly adhering to a proper "time period" (i.e....
20 votes
26 answers
6k views

Non-electrical technology that pre-modern people would see as magic?

My world was colonized by spacefaring humans who lost the vast majority of their technology in an unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before the present. They have now redeveloped roughly up to ...
3 votes
13 answers
3k views

Why would/wouldn't *humanoid* robots become popular, rather than any other robotic body-form?

Most robots that exist in the world today are factory robots. Not particularly humanoid, except the arm+hand concept. When you design a robot to replace the human task of pushing a vacuum cleaner ...
1 vote
0 answers
74 views

What factors do you need for a self sustaining cube building [closed]

In my world, there is the working class, who live in a giant cube called three cubed, there are 27 districts and each are responsible for different things. Three cubed can not only provide for itself, ...
17 votes
11 answers
7k views

Realistic Airships

I'm looking for an answer concerning a steam powered airship. The steam is generated via coal burning. The ship is propelled by an X amount of steam engine propellers (think Besler steam plane). The ...
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Scooped up for military research: How realistic is it in this day and age?

Being 'scooped up' for military research - or being a creation of military research - has been a common trope of movies and TV for many years. However, in most western nations, if not most nations ...
14 votes
12 answers
3k views

What could be the justification for having isolated domes all over a planet with people living inside them and not knowing about the real world?

To elaborate a bit further: let's say there's a planet in which some higher power installed several giant "domes" where people live. Each of these domes, which are the size of a small city, ...
2 votes
0 answers
52 views

How would a blind underwater species do science? [duplicate]

Assume a species of blind squid that communicates through and can perceive sonar with high fidelity, has active, precise electroreception, is able to produce a strong voltage like the electric eel, ...
3 votes
2 answers
206 views

In a righty-dominated society, how can authorities prevent a right-handed child from being born to two lefty parents?

In this society, superstitions regarding right- and left-handed people are accepted as fact. (I'm going to be politically incorrect and call them "righties" and "lefties" ...
3 votes
2 answers
529 views

Can there be an Underwater Advanced Civilization? [closed]

After watching Aquaman and, most recently, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which features Namor and his underwater empire, I got curious about the feasibility of an underwater civilization composed of ...
13 votes
10 answers
5k views

Reverse engineering electronics

I haven't found this question anywhere else so I don't think it's a duplicate. So here it goes, some background information of the world. Suppose there is a civilization with access to magic which ...
3 votes
5 answers
268 views

Why would two similar power sources in the same promixity cause both to be unstable?

I am Dante, a badass alchemist who has the desire to rule the world.The law of equivalent exchange states that for anything to be gained, something of equal value must be lost. This is the fundamental ...
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

What if half a planet (not necessarily earth) was destroyed (not split)

Basically I want to know what would happen to a planet if half of it was destroyed using explosives. Does the answer depend on the size/gravity of the planet and what would be the result on the ...
-1 votes
2 answers
153 views

What should an underground shelter, bunker or “regular” home look like if it’s designed to keep two people isolated for at least two years? [closed]

I’m asking this question because I was just thinking of how people would actually survive in the medium term in an apocalypse scenario with “reasonable and realistic” limits. The key world being ...
1 vote
3 answers
172 views

Implications Of Peak Humans in Sports [closed]

In a world where genetic mods can substancially alter people's physiology even after they've reached maturity, do you think that sports that are physical conditioning based will die out in favor of ...
0 votes
2 answers
153 views

Which numeric base should I use for universal measurement unit prefixes? [closed]

I'm developing a story where Earth is obliterated by an asteroid and the small mars colony collapses into chaos shortly after. The last survivor enters a criogenic chamber for indefinite amount of ...
1 vote
3 answers
471 views

How to prove "lactose intolerance" is a real thing people from 1000AD

There was a theory that the conflict between Viking settlers and native people in Newfoundland region of Canada in 1000 AD started when the Viking settler offered milk to the lactose-intolerant ...
0 votes
2 answers
157 views

Would veganism become much more popular in society mostly made up of shapeshifters? [closed]

In my story the western world and other wealthy countries have access to shape shifting technology. How it works is that tiny microscopic nanobots flow through the bloodstream and can kinda turn a ...
4 votes
8 answers
3k views

Can the future theoretically be predicted through analyzing the exact patterns of the universe? [closed]

My neuroscience is a little fuzzy, so bear with me. If your wondering how this ties in with world building, it's for a science fiction novel I'm writing, in which there is no magic. I am hoping to ...
5 votes
9 answers
340 views

How would aliens abduct an entire nation of millions from a planet?

I am looking for as hard science answers as possible, but I am willing to bend some rules for a good answer. Assume they need to move 10 million 100 million people off of a planet what technology ...
4 votes
1 answer
317 views

Geopolitical ramifications of a faked Apollo 11 Moon landing being exposed?

Imagine it's an alternate July 20th, 1969. The American people and anybody with a television set watch as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step out of the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle and become the first ...
2 votes
5 answers
203 views

A nation is using its citizens as a distributed computing network to solve some kind of problem. What kind of problem is it trying to solve? [closed]

Long story short, the government of The People's Representative Democratic Federated Republic of Southeast Countryistan has its citizens fill out a couple of forms per day, each with some kind of ...
6 votes
4 answers
410 views

How to power thin contact lenses that let us browse the internet?

Immediate to near future, we are talking about single digit nanometer size transistor and light emitting diode. That's actually very small, you can't see it with a conventional microscope let alone ...
1 vote
4 answers
408 views

The advantages and the drawbacks of being an android in comparison to being a human [closed]

Judging from many science fiction stuff I played and watched I think that being a robot has many advantages like being ageless and immortal (I mean not aging visually and having an unlimited lifespan ...
0 votes
2 answers
115 views

Would a civilization without war develop spaceflight? [closed]

Could a peaceful extraterrestrial civilization (purely hypothetical) ever get to space? I ask this because the vast majority of our technological milestones have come as the result of conflict: ...
6 votes
4 answers
478 views

How feasible is it that aliens would use a number field other than the standard real numbers?

I will begin this with a disclaimer that I barely understand the p-adic analysis beyond very general ideas of what the p-adic numbers are and how they are constructed. But this is a question I've been ...
5 votes
2 answers
238 views

How would warfare differ in a futuristic world without satellites?

In my soft sci fi/science fantasy world, humanity lives in a hollow planet. A long, long time ago, an alien species put them there and created a field that prevents anything from entering the planet's ...
4 votes
5 answers
246 views

How will the future of work look like? [closed]

A few observations. Actual job - which fill directly and efficiently real human basic needs - are getting scarce, there is a surge of bullshit jobs, an accrual of complex and rhetorical organizations ...
-1 votes
1 answer
117 views

How would a groups of scientists, engineers, architects, survival experts, smiths and archeologists survive back in the mesolithic-era-ish of humans? [closed]

A group of 25 people, which consist of scientists, a musician, a linguist, engineers, architects, survival experts, smiths and archeologists from the year 2021, lets assume all of them are experienced ...
40 votes
22 answers
8k views

Why combat machines in this world are colorful

For all of the combat machine we see in real life, they are painted in colors to blend into the background and lower visibility in every spectrum. Except for when they are participating in a parade, ...
4 votes
3 answers
285 views

How would a jungle dwelling civilization utilize powered armor efficiently?

Let's take for example an society that dwells in a jungle (75% of the world is jungle). Now, how would this civilization be able to develop and use powered armor and battlesuits efficiently? As we ...
13 votes
8 answers
5k views

Surviving a planet collision? [duplicate]

Let's say there are two planets about to collide. Ignoring how they got there, it seems that in most scenarios basically all life gets annihilated by energy released the collision. How slow would two ...
7 votes
2 answers
347 views

What are the side effects of long term Cryo Sleep? [closed]

I am writing a film about a group of people who wake up from cryosleep after 5-10 years. I would like to know what kind of side effects these people would have upon awakening. I've tried googling, but ...
6 votes
6 answers
284 views

How to convince a lot of people to join a cage anarchist country?

The experiment requires 250 million people and a lifetime dedication; once in there's no way out. It consists on enclosing people in 5 artificial countries, each country with fixed rules. Each person ...
1 vote
3 answers
174 views

How Would Mathematics and Technology evolve in a world where people can teleport [closed]

I've already talked about this world in this How would criminals be punished in a world where everyone can teleport? Everyone in this world from the age of 5 can teleport to anywhere they have been ...
0 votes
1 answer
121 views

If people had different views on biology/nature since the 1600s, would scientific and technological development be different or would it be the same? [closed]

I was reading this article, https://aeon.co/essays/can-animals-be-usefully-described-as-clockwork-machines, and was wondering if people kept viewing animals as machine like would technology and ...
0 votes
2 answers
228 views

Proving to the past that I am from the future [closed]

Let's say I've been able to travel in time and I am back in the past (just by a few years or even centuries). I do not have any modern gadgets or even modern clothes, just me and my 21st century mind. ...
3 votes
6 answers
618 views

How can the absence of the soul provide for immortality?

I am Yosef Mengalus, a mage and Philanthropist with an interest in studying the metaphysical. The soul is the core of the human being, and the seat of what makes a person "them". Personality, emotions,...
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

If quadruped mammals evolve to become bipedal will their breast or nipple change position?

As the title says, you know stuff like minotaur, lycanth or werewolf, cat or dog folk, etc especially for the female specimens. I want to know what happen if quadrupedal mammals which usually have ...
5 votes
8 answers
392 views

Would it ever be possible to "vaccinate" against feelings/ideas/beliefs?

If we think of some world views as viruses... Would it hypothetically be possible to create a vaccine for this or, in another way, make a person immune to these views? I'm thinking racism, xenophobia, ...
-5 votes
4 answers
343 views

How to have a religion that would not impede scientific development

The world setting is as follows: The main species is human and beastoid(animals that walk on two legs and have hands capable of dexterity, mostly like dog, wolf, cat, bear, rabbit, goat). Half-blood ...
5 votes
3 answers
352 views

What is the first problem an agrarian civilization try to solve with bio-circuitry?

Imagine an Agrarian civilisation (whose entire economy is based on producing and maintaining crops and farmland.) had developed a way to cultivate something like Cable Bacteria into large basic ...
-1 votes
1 answer
254 views

What feminine products will become commonplace for men in the future? [closed]

I think it is totally unfair that there are clothes and products for men and women. I believe it is possible to create feminine products for guys and many brands will create in the future. Exemples: ...

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