Category Archives: Science
Lately, there has been a trend criticizing science fiction books and movies for not being “scientific”. Headlines proclaim “what the new Star Wars movie got wrong” and articles, tweets, and blogs all rush to point out the errors in science fiction books and movies. Some have gone so far as to label speculative fiction as bad for science. Our opinion: Lighten up, guys!
Naturally, fiction makes things up and creates beings, worlds, and technologies that simply cannot exist in our universe. That’s why it’s called fiction. That’s why it’s fun. But beyond the fun, science fiction, in both books and movies, serves science in a unique way. It makes people wonder, what if? It tickles imaginations. It stimulates questions and creativity. It incites an interest in science and discovery. Why is imagination important to science? Let’s hear from a scientist on the subject.
At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact, I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
You never know where the seeds of an idea will come from. You never know whose words will spark someone’s passion.
So lighten up on science fiction. Don’t try to stifle it’s scope and vision. It doesn’t harm science. Quite the contrary.
Oh, and one final message from Einstein:
For those who are not familiar with NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) site, it is a collection of amazing pictures of the universe. Their tagline explains it best: “Discover the Cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.”
And why do we love it? It’s simple. Inspiration and knowledge. We always learn something from the information provided with each photo and the images themselves are simply stunning.
Check out today’s (June 1, 2015) post, a video of a pulsating aurora over Iceland set to music.
NASA’s APOD contains the largest collection of annotated astronomical images on the internet. When we look at the images, we imagine all the stories that must be out there. And then we get writing.
We just discovered a very cool site: http://www.scimaps.org/ a collection of very unusual maps; We’ll let them explain it: “Places & Spaces: Mapping Science is meant to inspire cross-disciplinary discussion on how to best track and communicate human activity and scientific progress on a global scale. It has two components: the physical part supports the close inspection of high quality reproductions of maps for display at conferences and education centers; the online counterpart provides links to a selected series of maps and their makers along with detailed explanations of how these maps work. The exhibit is a 10-year effort. Each year, 10 new maps are added resulting in 100 maps total in 2014.”
This site is FUN to browse. Some of our favorites:
Cosmographia World Map (from 1482!)