In September DARPA is sponsoring the 100 Year Starship Study – Public Symposium in Orlando. The goal of the symposium is to foster future research that might ultimately enable a starship program, but at the same time have possible offshoots that may be of benefit to the DoD, NASA, commercial and private sector. The symposium will bring together astrophysicists, engineers, science fiction writers, and innovative thinkers so they can brainstorm the kind of research that would be needed to eventually make a starship a success. Part of the event is to have a series of panel discussions, some of which will be with authors you know well (Steven Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Benford, Joe Haldeman, Geoffrey Landis, Gerald Nordley, Robert Sawyer, Allen Steele, Charlie Stross and Vernor Vinge), accompanied by physicists, doctors, theologians, etc., giving over 100+ technical presentations.
More information can be found at: http://www.100yss.org