Since Jules Verne put the science fiction genre on the map, these authors and movie makers have captured popular imaginations – with visions of boom and bust, glory and (mainly) terror in the future. Many of them (I would rate Asimov the best in this case) have been remarkably prescient in their views – “predicting” much of what is reality today. Popular culture has always been enthralled by such visions. Indeed, when H G Wells’ “War of the Worlds” was first dramatised for radio, people actually believed the world was being invaded by aliens. Mayb it was the chaos and emotion elicited by such radio programmes that fuelled media and entertainment interest in the genre.
Right now, movies like Michael Chrichton’s “Prey” or “The Hulk” and “Spiderman” are fuelling conern about a world dominated by nano-bots and people destoyed by biotechnology. People have unsubstantiated and unrealistic fears about the unknown of GM and nanotech.
Unfortunately, the clear distinction between fiction and fact has often broken down in our modern world. Today, media speculation (and reporting on news channels that must compete in an entertainment driven world) is taken as fact and society has gotten ahead of itself in bot its fears and hopes.

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