Science Fiction to teach Science

 

I grew up in India when Science was a ‘cool’ thing there.  I moved to North America in the 80’s to pursue a career in Biology and I was shocked to find science was not so glamorous in my new country and mostly visa students / new immigrants were going into graduate research positions.  From what I have seen recently, most of those immigrants do not encourage their own children to go into science.  Now, in India too, most high school students aspire to go into computer technology or business programs and sadly science is their last resort.  How do you make science ‘cool’ again?  Science Fiction can certainly be one of the ways to do this but stories that are too fantastic or can only happen hundreds or thousands of years from now may not teach science to students of today.  Can we tell stories that can happen in their own life time by use of technologies that exist today or will be available very soon?  I think being more realistic and current in science fiction is the best way to use sci-fi as an educational tool.