DAVID BRIN's video interviews, speeches and talks

David Brin's best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. His award-winning novels and short stories explore vividly speculative ideas through a hard-science lens. His 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.

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  • video interviews, speeches and talks

    Brin speaks at YouAccel

    what's new for 2050?

    At the YouAccel career and learning network, David Brin describes the industries of 2050 — our grandchildrens' career choices.

    Dr. Brian Keating

    a coronavirus conversation

    Physicist Dt. Brian Keating speaks with physicist Dr. David Brin about, among other topics, the less-than-science-fictional aspects of the coronavirus: What if there is more to this virus than meets the eye? We already know that corona viruses are not like the flu. Flu stays in business by mutating rapidly, every year, forcing new kinds of vaccines to be developed.

    no more surprise attacks?

    What's the solution to rapidly advancing threat horizons? At the US Army TRADOC 'Mad Scientist' conference, David Brin asserts that the key may be to anticipate threats — but we can't, so we must become more resilient.

    David Brin at UC Riverside

    the merits and hazards of extrapolation

    Science fiction authors poke at the universe using their prefrontal lobes... the seat of the thought experiment. So if you want to test your ability as a writer, to keep the action and interest and intellect and empathy all going at the same time, while building a world and dealing with ideas and issues — you're pretty much behooved to write science fiction as an alternative to cynicism and zero-sum thinking.

    the re-inventors

    the second era of humans in space

    David led an amazing roundtable of people working both inside and outside NASA, including Geoffrey Landis, Chris McKay, Rusty Schweickart, and Ariel Waldman, as they roughed out some of the ambitious new goals that could animate this next era in space, ranging from mining asteroids, to setting up solar energy stations in orbit, to exploring for life in the roofed water worlds of our solar system.

    Brin at Singularity Summit

    talking to our worst adversaries

    David's Singularity Summit talk in New York notes we have reached a stage in our technology where we are making gods and asks — will that bother anyone?

    Predicting the Future of SF

    predicting the future with sf

    Is there no way we know what the future is going to be like? In this Fast Forward video, Brin describes how science fiction designs thought experiments to make educated guesses.

    envisioning the starship era

    writing the starship era

    When (and how) will we develop starships capable of exploring beyond our solar system? This is one of many questions explored by David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Larry Niven, Vernor Vinge, Jon Lomberg, and moderator Gregory Benford at the Clarke Center's fiction writers panel at UCSD.

    UCSD alumni science fiction writers

    is it the gliderport?

    Explore the mystery of why UCSD has cultivated more science fiction writers than any other university of our time with alumni David Brin, Nancy Holder, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vernor Vinge, and Gregory Benford.

    David Brin's speech at Bard College

    what do we do when we lose our privacy?

    Watch this speech delivered at Bard College's Hannah Arendt Center. Brin notes that wanting to preserve privacy is only the beginning: We look for Big Brothers in government and universities and corporations yet fail to see the ones living next door.

    David Brin at Confidentiality 2020

    can we keep secrets anymore?

    This roundtable at the Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-DC) and the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center discusses the dramatically-reduced cost of collecting and sharing information. It has become easier to track what companies and governments are doing; whistleblowers and malicious hackers alike can disseminate huge quantities of confidential information. Are we seeing an inevitable trend towards transparency? Or will companies, organizations and governments find ways to lock down their networks?

    World of Watson

    searching for big-picture AI

    In this talk, "Will Artificial Intelligence occur by design, evolution, accident... or at all?" given to the 'braniacs' at World of Watson: IBM conf, in Las Vegas, Brin asks: given all the critical problems we need to solve very soon — on land, in the upper atmosphere, and in our seas — will we create the artificial intelligences we will need?


    did we make a 'bargain'?

    David Brin's second short screenplay submission, Diaspora, was selected as the Los Angeles Feedback Film Festival's "Best Short Screenplay" for January. His first submission, "Bargain," won the Festival's one-page Screenplay Contest in December. Both scripts are performed and posted online. Watch Bargain and Diaspora on YouTube.

    where will we be in 40 years? video

    where will we be in 40 years?

    In this YouTube video, two renowned futurists, David Brin and John Smart, discuss what inventions and adventures await us in the next 40 years.

    Sci Fi & Cinema: Should Movies include Civilization?

    want to make a more exciting book or movie?

    What criteria do you use to judge whether or not you like a movie or novel? We all have our standards, considering issues such as story-telling, consistency of plot, whether the work is dramatic enough, whether the characters seem plausible or believable. But there’s one you never hear mentioned, civilization, the context within which we all live. It’s what we depend upon for our daily life, our food, our electricity.Indeed, the assumption that civilization is useless dominates most films, because it makes it easy to put your hero in pulse-pounding jeopardy.

    the Dreamforce Conference

    two writers eye the future

    David Brin and epic SF novelist and AI theoretician Ramez Naam join the King of Scenarios about the future, Peter Schwartz, onstage at the Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco to discuss what lies beyond tomorrow.

    the Augmented World Expo

    will the future be augmented?

    The Augmented World Expo posted Brin's talk about what we will see in augmented and virtual reality over the next 40 years.

    Brin's answers for the future

    looking forward to the future

    In this episode of "5 Burning Questions," David Brin discusses his thoughts about charting a course through the future.

    David Brin speaks to Internet Society

    cyber surveillance — impacts & challenges

    David Brin speaks to the Internet Society about how to discover errors before they happen.

    Horizon 2020

    Horizon 2020: inventing the future

    Earth isn't a vast utopia, it is just us — more reasonable than our ancestors, perhaps. We definitely raised better grandchildren. How will they manage the planet? Will they expand into the solar system?

    Adam Ford interview

    is utopia in exile?

    Adam Ford interviewed Brin at LosCon39 in Los Angeles, asking him if there's a utopia in our future, among other topics.

    reasons to explore space

    grand-scale reasons to explore space

    In this video I discuss the economics of space exploration. Every decade since the 1940s, some scientific breakthrough (or several) enabled the U.S. to stay rich and vibrant enough to then spend it all in the Great Buying Spree that propelled world prosperity and created a world-majority Middle Class. That is, every decade except the first decade of the 21st Century, amid the calamitous War on Science.

    Planetfest 2012

    why have we resumed exploration?

    At Planetfest 2012, David Brin addresses the questions, "Will we see a new burst in planetary exploration?" and "With all the cameras, why don't we have better photos of the little green men?"


    the science of "otherness"

    Suppose we don't meet aliens. Might we satisfy our thirst for "otherness" anyway, by widening the range of who "we" are? Incorporating intelligences that are artificial, or human variants, or uplifted animals? Watch Brin's assumption-shattering talk at the Smithsonian, May 2014. (Here are the slides that accompany the talk!)

    the Neo film

    a self-evolved humanity?

    A team of brilliant cinematographers have forged ahead on the production of Neo, a film about humanity's future. Their first announcement trailer (featuring David Brin) won the 'Future-Maker Award' at Beijing's 2016 Global Innovator Conference.

    Trekspertise video


    Trekspertise just released a beautiful, image-rich video accompaniment of a talk I gave about "What Is Science Fiction?"

    Brin on Future First

    no sign of intelligent life?

    In this online tech-show, Future First (by Popular Science), David Brin and NASA director Jason Crusan are asked "Where are all the aliens?" Their answers encompass the Fermi Paradox, pondering why we seem — so far — to be alone.

    getting reasonable

    getting reasonable

    "The issue should not be government. It should not be unlimited and unalloyed idolatry of personal property, which is the path that the libertarian movement has gone down," says David Brin, a science fiction writer and self-identified "heretical libertarian" in this ReasonTV video.

    the story-spinner

    science & the "great delusion"

    This interview with mendelspod.com covers: Who's doing the heavy lifting of creating the future? What are the four great pillars that freed us from the "great delusion" of feudalism?

    science fiction horizons

    science fiction's horizons

    Writer and futurist David Brin argues for the academic validity of science fiction, as the literature best suited to expanding our horizons while exploring solutions to society's most pressing problems.

    David Brin at Google Headquarters

    exploring above, improving below

    David presents "A SciFi Author's take on space technology innovations in the near and distant future" at Vint Cerf's Space Technology Innovations Conference at Google Headquarters. How likely is it that we can renew enthusiasm for expanding civilization into space?

    which science is most basic

    which science is the most basic?

    Physics, mathematics, philosophy, biology, chemistry, or physics — the eternal loop. Physics might be considered the most fundamental of all sciences, for all other sciences derive from basic principles of forces, motion, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. And yet, physical laws are mathematical models of the world; however, mathematics itself is abstract, deriving from theoretical constructs of philosophy. But, philosophy arises out of theories of mind, or psychology. The mind itself depends upon the biology of the brain... which is nothing but chemical reactions of molecules, such as neurotransmitters and proteins. And of course, chemistry depends upon the behavior of atoms and forces, which is constrained by physics.

    still more videos interviews and talks

    GOOGLE talks

  • Sheldon Brown and David Brin discuss how much better we could be at "Third Milennium Problem Solving."
  • David Brin has a thing or two to say about EXISTENCE.
  • David Brin expounds on positive-sum technologies and the age of amateurs.
  • curated talks

    David Brin's video, audio, and print interviews are curated at scoop.it and pinterest.

  • science and the future
  • science fiction and writing
  • a pinterest compilation
  • a very strange universe

    Author David Brin speaks at Arizona State University's Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science about Humanity's Place in a Very Strange Universe.

    the physics of free will

    The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD recently held a panel discussion on "The Physics of Free Will." Astrophysicists Brian Keating, Andrew Friedman and David Brin discussed what modern physics — including "entanglement" and the time-history of inflation and the Big Bang — has to say about the concept of free will, including perspectives from the foundations of quantum mechanics, cosmology, and speculations about the role of of conscious observers in the cosmos.

    journey into 2050

    This 10 minute video about transparency and the Internet Miracle is an excerpt from an interview Brin gave a European television station during the recent conference (in Lithuania) on the digital future. Another excerpt explains the most difficult concept of the information age: that we should stop whining about how much elites can see, and instead be militant about looking back at them.

    creating a neo-enlightenment

    In September 2012, David helped dedicate a new Engineering Building at UCSD, along with luminaries from as far away as Bauhaus University. His talk focused on the building's deliberate collaboration between science and art, a melding predicted 50 years ago by CP Snow and essential to our Enlightenment. Watch the video — or read the speech.

    talking the Fermi Paradox

    Brin is video-interviewed on Fast Forward: Why haven't we heard from aliens? What explains the Great Silence? And why we haven't found any extraterrestrial neighbors yet?

    third millennium problem solving tools

    Can our civilization maintain its 200-year commitment to openness, transparency, accountability, and confident belief in progress, or will a growing "relinquishment movement" fight back against the onrush of change?

    Also: Find a trove of interviews, roundtable discussions and more on David Brin's Closer to Truth contributor page.

    newest book (and short story) releases

    The Escape

    The Escape

    One of the oldest notions in fantasy is a hero's confrontation with the supernatural. Humans are forever pondering some way to change the hand they're dealt. From Gilgamesh and Odysseus to Faust and Daniel Webster, fascinating characters have tried arguing with fate or divine will... or the Devil. In the genre of "debating the devil," The Escape takes a hyper-modernist and rather science-fictional take on that theme, reshuffling the deck and challenging the Grand Order of Things.
    Find out more, start reading the first scene, or purchase The Ancient Ones as a paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)

    The Ancient Ones

    The Ancient Ones

    Dr. Alvin Montessori is Human Advisor aboard the mostly demmie-crewed star cruiser Clever Gamble, orbiting above Oxytocin 41, a planet where something weird is going on. When the crew unreels a humungous hose down to the surface, their first contact team discovers a whole lot of 'somethings weird.' Life... death... and the living dead... will never be the same.
    Find out more, read the first 2 chapters, or purchase The Ancient Ones as a paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)

    Polemical Judo

    Polemical Judo

    Are we in phase 8 of America’s 250 year civil war? If so, the Union's side has a problem with its generals, who keep getting lured into grunt-and-shove combat, on ground chosen by the other side. The possibility of using agility to win political battles — the energy, creativity, and jiu-jitsu dexterity that foot soldiers do best — never occurs to Democratic politicians or strategists.
    Find out more, read the first two chapters here, or purchase Polemical Judo as a trade paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)

    Chasing Shadows

    Chasing Shadows

    The authors contributing stories and essays to Chasing Shadows explore their own visions of what might propel — or obstruct — a world civilization awash in the light of transparency. Eminent critic Paul Di Filippo offers an insightful, thorough and positive appraisal of CHASING SHADOWS. Find out more or read "PRIVATE LIVES" here.

    Insistence of Vision

    Insistence of Vision

    Visit a chillingly plausible tomorrow, when prisoners may be sent to asteroidal gulags. Or might prisons vanish and felons roam, seeing only what society allows? Suppose, amid lavish success, we gain the superpower to fly! Will we even appreciate it... or will we find new reasons to complain? Find out more or read "REALITY CHECK" and "TUMBLEDOWNS" here.



    Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody? Do civilizations make the same fatal mistakes, over and over? Might we be the first to cross the mine-field, evading every trap to learn the secret of EXISTENCE? Find out more or read "AFICIONADO," SHELTER OF TRADITION" and "SHORESTEADING" here.

    a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

    To learn more, visit his books page, or see his "about me" page or detailed biography.

    DAVID BRIN author


    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

    shorter fiction

    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

    Contrary Brin blog

    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

    social media influencer

    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 scientist


    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

    transparency expert

    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

    speaker & consultant

    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 300 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings. Learn More

    future/tech advisor

    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. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More

    other points of departure

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    pages about DAVID BRIN

  • latest news and activities
  • information about DAVID BRIN
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  • pages about BRIN's science fiction

  • Brin's novels and books
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  • a compilation of great sf books to read
  • recommended sf films
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  • BRIN's nonfiction explorations

  • privacy, security, accountability and transparency
  • designing and crafting our amazing 21st Century
  • predicting and projecting our near and far future
  • leading and following our politics and economy
  • keeping track of changes in science and technology
  • scanning our sky for habitable (inhabited?) worlds
  • Contacting BRIN

    All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin

    an ornery, contrary BLOG, and other insightful wormholes!

    Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's incendiary posts on science, sci-fi and politics and its engaged, opinionated community poke at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate — and infuriate. See for yourself, and if you like — subscribe for more.

    Questions? Concerns? Email DAVID BRIN


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    endorsements and recommendations

    praise for Earth

    "Brin is a physicist of note who has been a NASA consultant, and he knows how to turn the abstractions of particle physics into high adventure.... He excels at the essential craft of the page-turner, which is to devise an elegantly knotted plot that yields a richly variegated succession of high-impact adventures undergone by an array of believably heroic characters."
    — Thomas M. Disch, EW.com

    praise for Glory Season

    "Brin's canny sensitivity about the complexities of human nature transcends gender barriers in a novel that is not so much about 'women's issues' as the necessity for change and variability. As in Earth ( LJ 4/15/90), the author demonstrates his ability to empathize with all his characters. This complex and gripping tale belongs in most libraries."
    — Library Journal

    praise for Brightness Reef

    "Brin is a fantastic author, who has created a dense, complex futureverse with generally amusing alien races and uplifted Earth races, who amuse even during the most dramatic events. The crux of the story is how does mankind carve out an autonomous existence in the face of alien races with much more advanced technology? Who assists them and what odds do they overcome to succeed?"
    — Amazon.com customer review

    "Star Trek: Secrets of the Universe" (History Channel)

    "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."

    final thoughts ...

    ... for this page, at least ...

    cameras are everywhere

    DAVID BRIN quote

    "Self-awareness is probably over-rated. A complex, self-regulating system doesn't need it in order to be successful, or even smart."
    — from Earth

    DAVID BRIN quote