Historically, there's a wonderful relationship between science and science fiction... Science informs and guides fiction, while fiction often inspires science
Ask any scientist what their first impression was of science was growing up and it will probably come from science fiction, be that Ellie Arroway sitting in front of a radio telescope in Contact or Spock with his tricorder on some alien planet
Carl Sagan understood scientists are inspired, not born. He realized our culture mystifies science as though it were magic. He saw science as nothing more than reality explained.
We have to demystify science. We have to make science accessible and understandable. If we don't #fakenews and conspiracy theories are all too keen to step in to fill the void
Space is an awesome way to restore confidence in science as everyone's in awe of things like Galileo around Jupiter or SpaceX landing its twin boosters! We need people to realize the SAME scientific method is behind vaccines, evolution, climate change, etc.
To my mind, science fiction plays a role as well as it has the opportunity to indirectly influence opinion. Science-positive stories like Arrival, Gravity and Interstellar help shape people's acceptance of science (even if the science in those stories may stray a little)
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