January 2nd is National Science Fiction Day. It stems from the birthday of the famous science fiction writer (and author of popular science books), Isaac Asimov. There is a huge difference between science and science fiction, but many science fiction readers and film fans become attracted to the field of science because of the novels they’ve read or the movies they’ve seen.
There is often a stigma attached to science fiction fans because science fiction seems so unbelievable at times, yet some of the greatest advances in science in the 20th and 21st centuries were taken from science fiction written decades before. For example, look at the TASER (Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle), a self-defense tool that is used worldwide. This was created by a NASA researcher in the 1970s and named after the young adult novel, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle.
Ross Dawson, a futurist said that through science fiction, “(w)e discover what we want. Science fiction creates the desire for the technology that we see, which means that entrepreneurs can see if there is a desire and they then work hard to be able to create the technologies that we’ve discovered that we want.” We may not have hoverboards like in Back to the Future, Part 2 (which takes place in 2015) but people are trying to create them now because of the film.
Do you have a favorite science fiction novel or film that sparked your interest in science? Let us know on our Facebook page!