Science event to determine what's fact or fiction in sci-fi

Is it possible to fight the dark side with a light sabre? Could you make yourself disappear with an invisible cloak? Can bacteria be teleported from one place to the other? ANSTO scientists will reveal the secrets behind some of the world’s most popular sci-fi films to determine what is possible and what’s pure fiction.

Science Fact or Fiction is a big screen experience where the world of popular sci-fi film collides with cutting edge science.  

The 90 minute show that will hit the road at the end of May and visit a number of Australian cities involves the audience watching clips of classic sci-fi hits before individually voting, with hand held devices, on whether the technology featured is actual science fact or pure science fiction.  
Australian comedian Peter Berner MC'ing Fact or Fiction 2012
Australian comedian, Peter Berner was the MC for ANSTO's 2012 Fact or Fiction event
Once the audience voting has been locked in, an ANSTO scientist critiques the science featured in the film and provides the answer. 
Fact or Fiction has been designed to be highly entertaining and educational and attract kids that aren’t necessarily interested in science by providing them with a big dose of pop-culture. 
Science areas that are explored include Teleporting, Time Travel, Invisibility, Immortality, Light Sabres, Intelligent Metals, Terraforming Climates and Telekinesis. Age suitability is 8 years and above. 
Fact or Fiction large page graphic 

Results from the Fact or Fiction survey

More than three-quarters of Australians believe scientists have confirmed there is life on other planets, and more than half believe “Back to the Future” style hoverboards have been invented. These were just some of the conclusions of a Fact of Fiction survey of 1,000 Australians, independently compiled in June 2011 on behalf of ANSTO.

The survey asked respondents if science fiction theories such as time travel and invisibility cloaks were true or false, and which inventions they would most like to see in the future. Other results from respondents included:

  • 76% wrongly believe microscopic life has been discovered on other planets
  • 44% correctly believe flying cars exist
  • 42% incorrectly believe in reverse cryonics
  • 28% weren’t aware that it is possible to grow an eye in a dish
  • Women want robots to do the housework and nanobots that fight disease, while men want to live out their childhood fantasies of teleporting and travelling through time.
  • Both sexes are equally vain, with a desire to “reverse the ageing cycle” a popular choice for future scientific study.
  • The older we get, the younger we want to be. Only 13.1% of 18-24 year olds want to reverse the ageing cycle compared to 46.3% of 65+ olds. (Though interestingly, as a general rule, we do not want to live forever).
  • Despite laying claim to the best weather in the country, more Queenslanders want the invention of “weather control devices”
  • 82% of men, but only 65.9% of women, said that they are interested in science.



Published: 07/05/2013

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