Faculty Advisor

Wilkes, John M.


The purpose of this project is to examine the historical development of space propulsion, shielding, and energy storage in science fact and science fiction and then determine the influence of the science fiction on scientific fact illustrated by these cases. There was no definitive conclusion to this project. The timelines suggest that science fiction has an influence on science research and that it draws on the science to span the technological development implicit in the science, even before the science is firm. Some theoretical positions are adopted "early" in Sci Fi because of their technological "promise". However, that position doesn't clearly support the claim the Science Fiction precedes and shapes the development of the science.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies