Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Science Fiction and Science Fact: The Life of Isaac Asimov

Science fiction, we can’t escape it. It’s quite literally everywhere we look. Whether it is the warp drive from “Star Trek” or the artificial intelligence from “I, Robot,” science fiction provides inspiration and information. It helps us to see the possibilities, and helps us to better understand current technology. More importantly, science fiction offers us a glimpse of where science is (or could be) heading.

One question that has plagued many individuals is, which preceded which? Did science fact beget science fiction? Or is it the other way around? In truth, I suppose it is a silly question, because the answer is forever changing. Sometimes people will imagine fantastical things and, hoping to bring their imaginings to life, conduct scientific research that corresponds to this idea—whether they are interested in invisibility cloaks, force fields, transporters, photon torpedoes, flying cars, 3D printers, or any other number of things. In such cases, science fact springs from science fiction. Conversely, individuals may study science for years and conduct advanced research that gives them a solid basis upon which to build their ideas. Then, once they have acquired enough knowledge, these individuals may step away from research to focus on their fanciful imaginings. In these instances, science fact breeds science fiction.

Discover Isaac Asimov’s relation to Science at

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