0

Scientists Reveal Their Favorite Works Of Science Fiction

fb share tweet share

Here at GFR we cover anything that fits under the umbrella of our twin loves: science and science fiction. And just as the bleeding edge of our scientific understanding is forever pushing the boundaries of our science fiction, SF is itself inspiring fans to take transform their love of starships, robots, and the like into careers in real scientific fields. So what are some of the science fiction movies, shows, and books that real-life scientists love best? The Huffington Post recently asked a handful of scientists precisely that.

PermutationCityDr. Max Tegmark is a cosmologist and physics professor at MIT, and the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute, which provides grants to “catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology.” Tegmark cites Greg Egan’s 1994 science fiction novel Permutation City as his favorite, explaining that Egan’s “explorations of the ultimate nature of reality blew my mind and inspired my own research.”

Dr. Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and the author of books including The Particle at the End of the Universe and From Eternity to Here. He lists another semi-obscure work you might want to add to your Kindle: Robert L. Forward’s Dragon’s Egg. Carroll says, “It’s a story about life on the surface of a neutron star, which would ordinarily be considered completely outlandish. A good reminder that ‘life’ might take on very different forms than we ordinarily imagine. Here’s the Dragon’s Egg synopsis from Amazon:

0

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Counts Down His Top Ten Sci-Fi Movies

fb share tweet share

Live Long & ProsperNeil deGrasse Tyson is the closest thing modern science has to a rock star. To call him this generation’s Carl Sagan isn’t too far off. The Harvard-trained astrophysicist has a unique ability to take complex theoretical concepts and make them accessible to a wide audience, and be totally engaging at the same time. Hell, he even helped reboot Sagan’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which wraps up its 13-episode run this Sunday on various Fox channels.

Over the years, Tyson has also taken it upon himself to chime in on various movies that may not be using science in the proper way, or that have blatantly ignored the laws of physics. He absolutely eviscerated that scene J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness where the Enterprise hides underwater. So you have to assume that, given his penchant for pointing out scientific flaws in movies, he must watch a fair amount of them. Hero Complex took it upon themselves to get in touch with him and inquire about his tastes in the genre. What follows are Neil deGrasse Tyson’s top ten favorite sci-fi movies, in chronological order, with one honorable mention. You may find some of them surprising.

0

Cross The Streams: The Tomorrow People, The Fountain, And Contact Now Streaming

fb share tweet share

Even though you guys will probably be busy with the Pacific Rim Blu-ray that came out today, there are a few things popping up online that just might make you want to Cross the Streams when you’re done with all those giant freakin’ robots. (But please don’t be done with this Giant Freakin’ Robot, as we have bills to pay and DVDs to buy.)

the tomorrow peopleThe Tomorrow People (Hulu Plus)
As the second revival of the 1970s children’s sci-fi series, The CW’s The Tomorrow People really needed to do something different to distinguish itself from its predecessors, as well as the “young beautiful people having out-of-this-world problems” that can easily describe every other series currently airing on the CW. Does it succeed? Well, it definitely doesn’t look or play different from similar genre shows, given its a group of people with special powers who are being chased by an evil organization, but that doesn’t make it inherently uninteresting. It’ll take some time for me to get used to Robbie Arnell as a lead character, but I do enjoy Mark Pellegrino as the ethically challenged bad guy in almost anything. Hulu will be hosting the entire series, so if you’ve got too much going on during Wednesday night primetime, you’ll never have to miss an episode.