Fiction Meets Science

The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, together with the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg, serves as a home base for the international research and fellowship program Fiction Meets Science: the World of Science under the Literary Microscope (FMS)

Fiction Meets Science (FMS) is an academic research program consisting of literary and sociological studies, residencies for fiction writers, book clubs, public readings, and exchanges between the humanities, arts, and science communities. FMS is currently supported by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation and by the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg. The project is primarily a collaboration between the University of Bremen and the University of Oldenburg, but its members are connected to researchers and writers from around the world.

My FMS-fellowship not only gave me the chance to advance my career in the right direction, but also gave me treasured lifelong connections with colleagues from all over the world.
Dr. Padma Venkatraman, Oceanographer and Award-winning Author (FMS Fellow 2018/19)
[Translate to English:] Padma Venkatraman (Fellow)

In recent decades, science has become the focus of more and more fiction writers. Authors are concerned with scientific practices and concepts, but also with characters and institutions, as well as with products and their effects on society. Some key questions of the FMS project are therefore: what are the literary and social implications of this trend? What does contemporary fiction have to say about the human dimensions of science? Are its practitioners portrayed as stereotypes or multidimensional characters? Is this new wave of thinking about science in fiction leading to new literary forms? What is its role in science communication? Can a novel, film, or play make science more accessible or arouse curiosity about scientific concepts?
 
The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg supports the FMS project by awarding fellowships to writers in residence who produce works (usually novels or plays) about scientific practice and/or characters during their stay at the institute. In addition, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg hosts many FMS member workshops and retreats, as well as readings and other events. The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg and FMS collaborate with the Staatstheater Oldenburg, which has produced several plays that were by writers in residence of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg. See former writers in residence here.
 
The close connection of the writers in residence with other fellows and regional cooperation partners who are working as scientists or scholars allows an intensive immersion in their ways of thinking, but also in their everyday life and laboratory work. The dedicated time for writing, the interdisciplinary and international connections, and the HWK networks prove to be extremely inspiring for the writers in residence.