You don't usually have scientists with a drama and creative writing background - the two donít normally meet, do they?
I think a lot of scientists have been inspired by science fiction, but until fairly recently the world of science and the world of written science fiction or television science fiction were really two separate, distinct things. I think Star Trek is probably the vehicle that has been the most responsible for bringing those two worlds together.
Today a lot of scientists are openly expressing their interest in science fiction. They meet with science fiction writers and we do conferences together. Clearly, people who write science fiction are very interested in science and people who do real science are interested in fictional extrapolations of where their work may someday lead. I think that thatís been a very fun and, to some extent, a productive interaction.
There is a physicist in Great Britain called Miguel Alcubierre
who started thinking a few years ago about whether or not it might really be possible to construct something like a warp drive. He wouldnít have asked that question if he hadn't been a big fan of Star Trek and had been inspired by it. He had gone on to earn a PhD in theoretical physics and then started to ask himself the question; ' Gosh, I really wonder if there is some extraordinary device to physically manipulate the structure of space and time in service of propulsion for a starship?'