Today, 5/5, Writing the Future, the world’s largest health science fiction prize is go. We’re just a little bit excited.
Kaleidoscope’s founder, Richard Taunt, first introduced me to Writing the Future 8 months ago during early conversations which led to me joining Kaleidoscope.
At the time, I was seeking a new job and readying myself to enter the NHS - complete with its vast budgetary challenges and looming winter pressures. Against this backdrop I was awestruck to think about what the world could be like in 80 years time.
Being asked to consider change from a wider frame is not something we’re often asked, or reflect on. In the 1930s hunger killed far more in the UK than obesity; we didn’t have antibiotics, let alone antibiotic resistance. Looking to 2100, the only certainty is that our descendants will be grappling with challenges we can barely imagine today.
So to think outside the box we need to engage outside the box. The aim of Writing the Future is to encourage radical thinking about the future of health and health care in the UK by opening up the debate to a whole new group of people outside of health – sci-fi writers.
Science fiction has long provided creative insight into how future health care could look, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. It’s this creative vein we’re looking to extend and celebrate through the prize, the largest of its type in the world. We’re incredibly grateful to our partners, the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, and the Commonwealth Fund, for supporting us explore these ideas.
Launching today, 5/5, the competition will run for 13 weeks, closing on 8/8. A shortlist of six will be announced 9/9, before a winner is announced 10/10. The shortlisted entries will be published, with runner up prizes at £500, and the top prize, £10,000.
Whether you want to grab a pen and apply, or sit back and wait for the stories, we hope you’re as excited as we are about the potential to turn the debate on the future of health and health care on its head.