What Inspired Everyday Einstein to Study Science? (Part 1)

This week, the 100th episode of Everyday Einstein, on the Science of Agoraphobia, hits the virtual shelves. Since this is a significant event, I thought I'd take the time to step back and share some of the things that first sparked my interest in science. Today, I look at my first sci-fi movie experience: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

Lee Falin, PhD
1-minute read

The first movie I remember watching in the theater as a kid was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

This was way back when they had to change film reels about midway through the movie, and there was some technical glitch in our theater. Just as E.T. was being chased by the evil scientists, the film abruptly stopped. I looked at my father and asked what happened. He said that E.T. had been captured and the movie was over. Much to his chagrin, I burst into tears. Happily, the film soon resumed and my mental scarring was kept to a minimum.

What most interested me about E.T. wasn't the alien, his spaceship, or the scientists. It was the cool device they built to let E.T. "phone home." From that point on, I desperately wanted a Speak-and-Spell, which I'm sure was Texas Instruments' plan. I didn't want one so that it could teach me spelling though, I wanted to take one apart and use it to build my own interplanetary transmitter. Unfortunately, my parents weren't too keen to buy me an expensive toy just so that I could dismantle it.

What other experiences inspired Everyday Einstein to study science? Tune in later on this week to find out.

About the Author

Lee Falin, PhD

Dr. Lee Falin earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology from Virginia Tech.