Any idea of fact or fiction flowing from the author through some form of media, by definition, enters the popular culture. When this happens, as scientists sometimes we cheer and sometimes we just shake our head. Nonetheless, we often cannot measure an idea’s true significance until it has been tested among those most able to see the forest for the trees (or, more apt for our case, the universe for the quanta).
Despite its often blunt message that man, for all his glory, stands as a tiny grain of sand against the naked might of the universe, science fiction leaves us with a hope that, yes, we can achieve the impossible dream. […]