Writing genetic science-inspired fiction in contemporary society

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Through an informed exercise in creating and writing original fiction about characters and issues involved in contemporary and near-future science, this practice-based thesis examines how the representation of scientific knowledge can be critically explored through creative writing and fiction grounded in science, specifically genetic science. The creative element of this research is presented as a themed or linked collection of genetic science-inspired speculative fiction in the form of two novelettes and one novella. These collected works present opportunities to explore scientific, ethical and moral issues within the area of contemporary-facing genetic science through fiction. The activity of engaging with science and science-related characters via an empirical investigation is explored within each individual creative piece.
    As objects of creative production, these works offer both the experience of engaging with science-related characters as they pursue scientific (and personal) goals, and an opportunity to explore a variety of implications and possibilities of (genetic) science in contemporary society. This approach allows investigation through a range of methods to examine a creative process from a critical perspective using practice-as-research (PaR) methodology. Individually, a close-examination and commentary is offered on the interaction between storyline, science elements, characters and characterisations. Through this exploration a critical analysis is delivered on the influence of science in the design and writing of the fiction collection.
    With the completion of the creative and critical elements of this thesis, a research study rooted as much in process as on focused outcome is established. The creative practice is seen to critically inform how a factually inspired genetic science work of fiction is delivered and as such, the thesis introduces a model that can be applied by other academics and practitioners working within the fields of contemporary fiction and science.
    Date of Award2019
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAndrew Melrose (Supervisor) & Laura Hubner (Supervisor)


    • creative writing
    • fiction
    • speculative
    • genetic science
    • practice-based
    • PaR
    • intertextuality
    • science-as-fiction
    • science communication
    • two-cultures

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