The Full Jason Pontin Interview

This bonus post is the full recording of my December 7, 2016, interview with Jason Pontin, the CEO, editor-in-chief, and publisher of MIT Technology Review. He's one of the stars of Soonish Episode 1.01, How "2001" Got the Future So Wrong.

 Jason Pontin

Jason Pontin

Jason was editor of The Red Herring from 1996 to 2002 and of The Acumen Journal, a life sciences magazine, from 2002 to 2004. I got to know him in 2004 when he became editor-in-chief at Technology Review, where I was a San Francisco-based senior editor.

Jason is a big science fiction fan and an eloquent writer and speaker about technology and the future, which made him the perfect person to interview for the pilot episode of Soonish. That episode is ostensibly about the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it's really about how science fiction helps define our aspirations for the future, and what it means for society when we fall dramatically short of those aspirations.

Full disclosure: After this interview, Jason invited me to become the editor of the 2018 edition of Twelve Tomorrows, Technology Review's more-or-less annual science fiction anthology. I accepted, and the project is underway.

More Resources

Why We Can't Solve Big Problems, Jason's October 2012 Technology Review cover story

Can Technology Solve Big Problems?, Jason's 2013 TED Talk

SOLVE, MIT's business, technology, and innovation conference and community

Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys's 1960 "hard sf" novel about teleportation

Michaelmas, Budrys's 1977 novel predicting the Internet and a world-spanning AI