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 Heinlein’s 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, MIT’s 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. They’ve 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 ")

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.

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

 

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

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

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

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.