13 Top Scientists’ Favorite Books And Movies

There’s a big difference between science and science fiction, but sci-fi books and movies have inspired some of the greatest minds of today.

“The best of the science fiction films will stimulate a curiosity and an interest in a topic,” astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, told Vanity Fair in a June 2014 interview.

HuffPost Science reached out to top scientists and science enthusiasts to ask which science fiction movies and classics were their favorites. Here is a slightly condensed version of their responses.

Jane Goodall

Primatologist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

Three books of my childhood probably had the greatest impact on my life. The Story of Doctor Dolittle’ (by Hugh Lofting) and ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ (by Edgar Rice Burroughs) inspired me to understand what animals were trying to tell us and instilled within me an equally strong determination to travel to Africa, live with animals, and write books about them. ‘The Miracle of Life’ was a large book my grandmother got for free by saving up coupons from cereal packets. It was by no means a book intended for children.”

Temple Grandin

Animal scientist and author of “The Autistic Brain”

“I’m a Star trek fan… The one I’ve always liked the best was the one about the whales. It had them coming to Earth and dressing up as Earth people. Some of the later movies haven’t been as good. They’re going with too ‘whizz-bam’ special effects.”

Michael Shermer

Historian of science and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine

“My favorite sci-fi film is the 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still, a Christ allegory in which an alien named Klaatu (who takes the name ‘Mr. Carpenter’ while —> Read More