Skip to main content

Plastic Waste Flooding into Science Fiction: A Green Tea Chat with author Stanley Chen

Date & Time

Jun. 17, 2021
9:00am – 9:45am ET


Inspired by a 2011 trip to Guiyu—the heart of China’s e-waste processing, Stanley Chen’s science fiction novel Waste Tide captures the human toll of our disposable lifestyles. This book about class war and trash is part of a growing trend in science fiction literature that some call eco-fiction or solarpunk, where the story takes place in a near-future world that is part dystopia and part utopia. Chen has won more than a dozen awards for his work including several Galaxy and Nebula awards. His most recent book, Algorithms of Life, was partially written by an AI program trained by his own work.


Over the last year at CEF, plastic waste has been a major thread in our program. We are very excited to invite you to this delightful turn away from our usual environmental and energy policy discussions to have an intimate “Green Tea Chat” with Stanley Chen about how science fiction reflects reality and can inspire action to solve complex pollution and climate change problems. We will also delve into his work with AI. His upcoming book, co-written with Kai-Fu Lee, AI 2041 can be pre-ordered now. 


We will take questions from the audience. Please submit your questions before or anytime during the webinar to Twitter (@wilsonCEF) or via email to

CEF Green Tea Chats are short conversations with leading experts from the business, NGO, societal, and research spheres about energy and environmental issues in China and Southeast Asia. This meeting was developed in partnership with the Institute for Developing Economies in Japan and made possible by support from the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership.


stan chen

Chen Qiufen

Award-winning Author and Honorary President of the Chinese Science Fiction Writers Association

Hosted By

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge US-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more

Kissinger Institute on China and the United States

The Kissinger Institute works to ensure that China policy serves American long-term interests and is founded in understanding of historical and cultural factors in bilateral relations and in accurate assessment of the aspirations of China’s government and people.  Read more

Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) serves as the bridge between technologists, policymakers, industry, and global stakeholders.  Read more

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please send any feedback or questions to our Events staff.