Inter-Disciplinary Futures, Art, Science and The Imagination

Edward Finn

Associate Professor, Founder of Center for Science and the Imagination, Author, Curator

Ed Finn is the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination (CSI) at Arizona State University where he is an associate professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English. 

Ed’s research and teaching explores digital narratives, designing inspiring futures, and creative collaboration at the intersection of the humanities, arts and sciences. He is the author of What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press, spring 2017), which explores the role of computation as a growing cultural force in our lives. Ed has written for popular audiences in publications including Slate, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Aeon, and the MIT Technology Review.

He has grown CSI into an internationally recognized hub for ambitious and creative thinking about the future, collaborating with renowned writers and thinkers all over the world. Ed has served as the principal investigator for CSI projects funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Hewlett Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Intel, and the World Bank covering space exploration and commercialization; the relationship between science fiction and technology policy, particularly in the context of artificial intelligence and automation. 

Ed co-directs the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative and developed an annual Climate Fiction writing contest. He also serves as the academic director of Future Tense where he helps curate events, publications, and Future Tense Fiction, a monthly science fiction story published in Slate. He is a co-director of Emerge, an annual festival of art, ideas and the future held annually at ASU. 

Ed completed his Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Stanford University in 2011, where he was awarded the Alden Prize for best dissertation in his program. Before graduate school, Ed worked as a journalist at Time, Slate, and Popular Science. He earned bachelor’s degree at Princeton University in 2002, graduating summa cum laude in Comparative Literature. 

More Advisory Board