Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff: how science fiction helps make sense of physics
From the morality plays in Star Trek, to the grim futures in Black Mirror, fiction can help explore our hopes – and fears – of the role science might play in our futures. But sci-fi can be more than just a source of entertainment. When fiction gets the science right (or right enough), sci-fi can also be used to make science accessible to broader audiences.
“Storytelling can make complex theories easier to visualise, understand and remember.”
Dr Cunningham – a sci-fi fan herself – convenes ‘Brave New World’: a course on science fact and fiction aimed at students from a non-scientific background. The course explores the relationship between literature, science, and society, using case studies like Futurama and MacGyver. She says her own interest in sci-fi long predates her career in science.
“Fiction can help get people interested in science – sometimes without them even knowing it,” says Dr Cunningham.
“Sci-fi has the potential to increase the science literacy of the general population.”
Dr Cunningham shares three tricky physics concepts best explained through science fiction. To read the full article, click here.