David Kramer’s piece (Physics Today, July 2012, page 23) concerning the importance of science to the general public and the public’s discomfort with science has provoked me to respond.

Science is dull and dreary to the general public and will remain so until we can achieve warp speed. James Kirk and Han Solo achieve it regularly and without ill effect. The public knows from Star Trek and Star Wars that warp speed is possible, if only we put the effort into it. Likewise, gravity is just an inconvenience to be overcome, and the public knows it can be overcome with little effort, to take us to the stars.

Let’s face it, when the public is excited about such events as the space program, Moon landings, and such, it is a triumph of technology, not science. All the science education in the world will not overcome the siren call of science fiction; it’s simply too exciting.

All one can hope for is that the small minority of the general public who appreciate science and scientific endeavors are those who have influence in the public media and the halls of Congress. In that regard we have been pretty damn lucky.