A childhood love of all things science
Posted July 19, 2016on:
We’re all always talking about the first science fiction book we read, or scifi movies we liked as a kid. For me, my love of science fiction was born directly from a childhood fascination with all things science.
For me, science and science fiction have always gone hand in hand. If you’re going to go explore the stars, it helps to have an understanding or at least an appreciation of astronomy and physics, right? Science Fiction is the stories of everything that science makes possible. And with science, everything is possible. My love of science fiction was born through my fascination with Science. Science made everything possible, science fiction stories are where all those cool things happened.
I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. My mom would take me to the Cranbrook Science Museum. It was perfect for elementary and middle school aged me – youth friendly exhibits on geology, holograms, physics, astronomy, optical illusions, and more. I’m sure there was grown-up stuff too, but I was a kid, so I went to the kid stuff.I have a vivid memory of being 11 or 12 years old, and getting to go to one of their astronomy events where you could look through the telescope and see the rings of saturn. And I saw the rings, and I felt like I could touch them. The science of refraction and lenses showed me the rings of Saturn, and in the science fiction stories I was reading, people went to the rings of Saturn. I was looking at something right out of a science fiction story! And if the rings of Saturn were attainable through a chunk of glass, couldn’t anything in a science fiction story be attainable, eventually?
Around this same time in my life, I was a huge Star Trek the Next Generation viewer. Dad and I had a standing date to watch the new episodes. We didn’t have cable TV, so anything new on TV was cool, and getting to hang out with my Dad was extra cool. On that TV show, science (or at least TV science and technobabble) was applied. They were doing the things that I only saw through a telescope. They were doing science (and plenty of other stuff), and science was something that could take you to new amazing worlds.
Come on. I was eleven years old. Any planet they visited on ST:TNG was amazing to me. I didn’t care that it was all tv technobabble and none of the science actually added up. They were taking all the cool science stuff from the museum I went to, and applying it to do really cool things.
Science Fiction is full of hope that one day we will be able to attain what is unattainable today. And applied science is what will one day make science fiction a reality.