New York Times: The Center for Science and the Imagination officially launched yesterday at Arizona State University. The center is the brainchild of ASU president Michael Crow and science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, who hope to “bring together science fiction writers, scientists, engineers, technologists, and the general public to think big and explore radical ideas through collaborative projects,” according to Ed Finn, the center’s director. Among the center’s first projects is a collaboration with Intel called the Tomorrow Project, designed to generate science-based conversations about the future. Stephenson has also been working with ASU structural engineer Keith Hjelmstad to design a 19-km tower to launch vehicles into space. Also in the works are a conference in the spring and a series of campus dinners focusing on sci-fi TV shows.