Inspired By Science Fiction?

Technovelgy readers, I need your help! I'm doing a talk on science fiction and innovation at the Wharton business school, and I need a list of people who were inspired by science fiction in their careers. Also, I need more examples of modern-day scientists who have specifically stated that particular ideas were inspired by, or taken from, science fiction.

For example, Paul Krugman was fascinated by Isaac Asimov's ideas about psychohistory, and became an (Nobel prize-winning) economist. Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, was inspired by Verne's tale of a voyage from Earth to the Moon. Admiral Richard Byrd said on the eve of his polar voyage "Jules Verne guides me." Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, was inspired by Robert Heinleinís books about private development of space flight and the moon.

Specific inventions include the cell phone, invented by Martin Cooper who says that he was inspired by Star Trek's communicator. William Beebe invented the bathysphere; he was inspired by Jules Verne's 20K Leagues Under the Sea. Dr. Cynthia Breazea, MITís Personal Robots Group, loved to play with Star Wars robots as a child, and now develops social robots like C3P0. Captain Cal Lanning, US Navy, has stated that 'Doc' Smith's Directorix from Gray Lensman directly inspired the Navy's Combat Information Centers in warships. Will Wright, creator of The Sims, credits Stanislaw Lem's "kingdom in a box" as a major inspiration for his program. Physicist Leo Szilard was inspired to solve the problem of atomic chain reactions by H.G. Wells. Electronics engineering professor Yukiharu Uraoka, was inspired by science-fictional detective Manga Detective Conan to create ultrathin computer memory. MIT Engineering PRof. David Miller showed Star Wars to his class, and asked that they create the training remotes for the space station. Theyíve been successfully tested on the IST. A rotopod robot created by Damian Lyon and Frank Hsu was directly inspired by Clarke's tripod robots from Rendezvous with Rama.

I'll post the finished list as an article, and add to the rest of the site as usual.

I'm sure you know specific examples as well. Please use the comment form for this article, or use the website Contact form if you want to leave specific URLs with more information (which would be great!).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/14/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 12 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'- Philip Jose Farmer, 1967.

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?' - Richard Morgan, 2003.

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... Setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1938.

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.' - John Brunner, 1975.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Is There Life In Outer Space? Will We Recognize It?
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'

Space Traumapod For Surgery In Spacecraft
' It was a ... coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself...'

Tesla Augmented Reality Hypercard
'The hypercard is an avatar of sorts.'

A Space Ship On My Back
''Darn clever, these suits,' he murmured.'

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

Fuli Bad Dog Robot Is 'Auspicious Raccoon Dog' Bot
Bad dog, Fuli. Bad dog.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.