A new report called The Fiction of Development: Literary Representation as a Source of Authoritative Knowledge praises literary fiction as an important resource for a global society. To quote the Guardian‘s Books Blog:
A team from Manchester University and the London School of Economics claim that stories and their writers can do just as much as academics and policy researchers, perhaps even more, to explain and communicate the world’s problems. Fiction, they boldly venture, can be just as useful as fact.
You can read the report in its entirety (including a recommended reading list) here.