publication date: Thursday, February 4, 2021 (part of Winter 2021)

category: Science

clue: This physicist so profoundly advanced our understanding of the universe that it's possible to imagine aliens someday visiting our nation.

explanation: Einstein inspired the name of Albert Einstein on Alien Nation. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Samir Mehta, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, Erik Bates, Ruth Cichoski, and Alexis Andino

Sci-Fi Namesakes: Science fiction is a genre of ideas, and the best ideas are the ones connected to reality. This two-week theme presents 14 real-life people who inspired the names of characters in sci-fi TV shows, including shows with fantastical elements not normally considered sci-fi. Dr. Who, I presume?

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Paul Stamets

This mycologist's input as a consultant was so invaluable to TV writers that wanted their ship to exceed warp speed by traversing an interstellar mycelial network that they named an astromycologist after him in gratitude. Go »

Albert Einstein

Not even an atom bomb could undo the relativity of this genius's work. Go »

Alfred Bester

One of the most acclaimed science-fiction shows of the 1990s cast an actor from one of the most popular science-fiction shows of the 1960s to play a character named for one of the best-regarded science-fiction writers of the 1950s. Go »

Jack Parsons

A pioneer of rocket science, this loon was head of a cult church and had his money and girlfriend stolen by a Scientologist bigwig. Go »

Syd Barrett

Pink Floyd's original frontman shocked legions of fans when he was fired for the band for schizophrenic illness, a topic that might make for an interesting show set in the world of the X-Men. Go »

John Locke

This English philosopher is known for developing the theory of empiricism and connecting consciousness to the notion of self, not for getting lost on a mysterious tropical island with his wheelchair after a plane crash. Go »