In 1977, a lone young man stepped on the scene, clutching a laser-like weapon, who would change the face of pop culture forever. His name was Luke Skywalker, and the Star Wars franchise would expand to include a series of movies, prequels, books, video games and even a TV show. The space opera itself was something entirely new, and the creativity of George Lucas would span an entire generation.
Now, something that only existed in Hollywood movies is coming to light in a current scientific experiment. Lightsabers may not be a reality for a while, but scientists are working to create light interactions akin to Darth Vader’s weapon of choice. That innovation in the scientific realm began with something that was fantasy 30 years ago.
Now, in 2013, we seem to lack that innovative drive in the sphere of literature. The fantasy of our generation revolves around the sparkling undead or having young people fight to the death for entertainment in a dystopian society. I doubt future researchers will be inspired to develop a method for permanently crusting the skin with diamonds to emulate past literary figures.
The process of invention requires an idea person and someone to realize the value of that possibility and take it to the next level.
We need to cultivate creative minds to inspire future scientists to ask “What if?” and start working.
We need to cultivate creative, scientific minds to look at those creative ideas and ask “Why not?”