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 ")

Sex In Driverless Cars? Updated With Video!
'...admirable for petting.' - David H. Keller, 1935.

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.' - William Gibson, 1996.

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...' - William Gibson, 1996.

 

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

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

Music Not Impossible (MNI) Vibrotactile Wearable Experience
Don't you want to experience the 'feely' effects?

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
'A simple mechanism... it drove the iron ball through space like a ship.'

InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.'

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

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.