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Teaching science with science fiction


ideal sci fi bookshelf

Teaching Biology with sci-fi

Graboids (from the Tremors movies)

Teaching Physics with sci-fi

The Expanse is a TV series based on novels, novellas and stories by James S. A. Corey – the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The first novel, Leviathan Wakes, was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2012. In 2017 the series as a whole was nominated for the ‘Best Series’ Hugo Award.

“The Expanse” TV and book series

Teaching science in general

Using Science Fiction to teach Science
Using Science Fiction to teach Science

Teaching Physics & Earth Science with sci-fi

The Core


2012 (Disaster flick)

What’s the most inaccurate movie, in terms of science? Quora

In 2012 neutrinos melt Earth’s core, and other disasters: Scientific American

Deep Impact

Deep Impact: Bad Astronomy

Biology & Ecology

Sci fi about ecology and biology

The Hunger Games

Teach.com Jabberjays-teaching-science-with-science-fiction

Learning.blogs.nytimes Hunger-games-science-investigating-genetically-engineered-organisms


World War Z”, zombies – and viruses

Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, professor at Harvard Medical School, gives a discussion of the brain’s frontal lobe, amygdala, Anterior Cingulate Cortex, cerebellum, basal ganglia, mirror neurons, and ventromedial hypothalamus.
A Harvard Psychiatrist Explains Zombie Neurobiology

Wonder why Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse, and Zombie Preparedness continue to live or walk dead on a CDC web site?

CDC – Zombies


Using games to teach science

Teaching physics with science fiction

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

Grading the physics in some major motion pictures

Physics on Film pages in The Physics Factbook™

The Physics Factbook™ for 2007

The Physics Factbook™ for 2006

The Physics Factbook™ for 2005

Rotational motion

Short Story – “Spirals” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

First appeared in Jim Baen’s Destinies, April-June 1979.

Cornelius L Riggs, Metallurgist, answers an ad claiming “high pay, long hours, high risk. Guaranteed wealthy in ten years if you live through it.” The position turns out to be an engineering post aboard humanity’s orbiting habitat. The founders of “the Shack” dream of a liveable biosphere beyond Earth’s gravity, a permanent settlement in space. However, Earth’s the economic conditions are getting worse, and the supply ships become more and more infrequent…

Spirals by Larry Niven

SPIRALS – The short story.doc

Astronomy and astrophysics

List of short stories and novels that use more or less accurate science, and can be used for teaching astronomy or physics concepts.

Astronomy and Astrophysics stories

Speculative physics


Speculative history: Possibility of prehuman civilization

There’s a story about that

For decades a number of “hard” science fiction folks have consulted with various companies, foundations and especially DC agencies, where earnest civil servants fret about potential threats to our unusual civilization. Aware of of their own constrained imaginations, members of the Protector Caste keep inviting some of the top authors of “hard” or realistic science fiction to offer either big picture perspectives or else terrifying possibilities. “You sci fi guys think up the scariest things,” one official commented, with evident approval, recognizing the value of science fictional thinking. The same can be said for tech innovators, social entrepreneurs, and visionary artists of various stripes, searching for insights into where we are heading and how we can design our way to a better future.

And yet, there has always been one frustration. When thinking about some real or hypothetical scenario, it might be easy to paraphrase an example or two, but there’s no one place to find truly relevant stories, amid the vast number of past tales and thought experiments.

The solution? TASAT (There’s a Story about That!).

There’s A Story About That

Scientific investigations into the fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft


German Poo-Caamano (CC BY-NC-ND)
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