Literature and industry

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

Does literature effect industry or does industry effect literature?

Have you ever read a book and had that philosophical quandary, have authors such as Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, Ayn Rand and others inspire industries progression; or are they the true masters of innovation? Did they read Fahrenheit 451 and say “hey yeah, a hand scanner… lets do that!” Did they 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and decide the submarine would become common place? Have our scientists, mechanical engineers, and inventors been tearing their ideas from books one page at a time? Have authors been secretly directing society in its evolution into the future? Or is it merely a parasitic relationship?? hmmm… now if only someone would write a book about me finding a million dollars!

The relationship is way more complicated than that… Good science fiction inspires people to pursue careers in science and engineering, and with enough knowledgeable people around, things just start happening…

In 1993, Milwaukee School of Engineering awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree to Canadian actor James Doohan, who played Montgomery Scott (or simply Scotty) on Star Trek. The reason? More than half of their engineering students named Scotty as one of the reasons they entered the field…

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