David Brin is best-known for shining light — plausibly and entertainingly — on technology, society, and countless challenges confronting our rambunctious civilization. His best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. Other novels are translated into 25+ languages. His short stories explore vividly speculative ideas.
Brin's nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy.
As a scientist, tech-consultant and world-known author, he speaks, advises, and writes widely on topics from national defense and homeland security to astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction, creativity, and philanthropy. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was cited as one of the top 10 writers the AI elite follow.
This listing is by no means comprehensive! If you have an intriguing topic in mind, one inspiring enough to fly halfway around the world, suggest it.
Artificial Intelligence: David Brin has keynoted events like IBM's World of Watson and GE's Whitney Symposium, offering "big picture" perspectives on AI — the science, ethical quandaries and context for it all.
Augmented & Virtual Reality: Keynotes for major conferences on our new ways to interface, plus vivid portrayals in fiction.
Space and Aviation: What's on the near, intermediate... and far horizons?
Bio-tech: Will we transform ourselves, other species, our planet?
David is most often hired to consult on transparency, security, privacy and the intrusive surveillance of 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, Brin urges 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.
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.
Because he's achieved success in several arts and sciences, Brin is often asked how to spot opportunities and trends, and how best to take advantage of them... how to catch the mistakes we always kick ourselves for missing. He points out some of the ways we're already doing this... and a few tricks to enhance the trend. He also provides groups with Corporate Creativity Exercises designed 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 Brin's 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 this interview on the future of philanthropy.)
David's 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 — Brin is asked to appear often (in person and on TV), debunking so-called UFOs (in a way that leaves audiences roaring with laughter) while explaining how the search for earth-like exoplanets may be far more interesting. David is also a regular "space expert" at Imax Theaters and planetariums.
Scientific issues that David Brin explores in fiction, and has been asked to talk about, include: cloning, immortality, bio-warfare, psychology, time travel, and the prospects for continuing human and non-human evolution.
The Postman was filmed by Kevin Costner. Describing this roller-coaster experience puts listeners in stitches.
David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's community pokes at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate and infuriate.
"This was a great inspirational event as so many people commented on it. Thanks! The content of your message was powerful and influential, as you helped reconfirm and encourage people to formulate new future directions that they might otherwise never have been envisioned at all."
"It was a great honor to have you speak on campus. I am a huge fan of your books, and you did not disappoint in person. You achieve a rare combination of originality, intellectual rigor, and fun."
"David, thank you for letting us interview you! Your insights added a great deal to the show, as you can see from how often we put you on-screen. I hope the show finds you a ton of new readers. Please thank your family for letting us invade your home. It was an honor to work with you. I hope we have a chance to work together or talk in the future."
"Thanks again for being part of our "kick-off" program for the KPCC Crawford Forum science series (broadcast on our NPR station). The audience loved it, and we all learned a lot — you certainly do have a lot of fans! We hope we can have you with us again at some time in the not too distant future."