ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - The movie Dr. Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch dealt in a lot of high-minded science.
That's why the producers turned to the mind of University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank, who, as a consultant, helped them figure out how certain sci-fi concepts might work and look.
“I love doing it,” Frank said of consulting. “Well, first, I'm a huge science fiction fan, I'm a huge Marvel fan, when they called and asked me if I wanted to be a consultant, that was the best day ever, well, my kids’ birth was the best day ever, but after that comes after.”
Frank is drawn to science fiction because it provides a lab of sorts to work out how things like technology might impact our future.
Asked for his outlook for the human race, Franks said, “I'm optimistic. The moment we're going through is something every civilizations has to go through like climate change, a lot of the work I've been doing has being exploring the idea that any civilization that reaches a certain level of power of technological capability is going to push on their planet hard enough to drive the planet into some kind of climate change state so that right now, this moment that we're facing is very much like our coming of age. We're like a cosmic teenager and as you know with teenagers you either learn to mature and handle the power you have over yourself or you don't.”
Frank's academic fame extends well beyond sci-fi.
He has also written about bridging the science-religion divide in his book The Constant Fire.
“The basic idea that human beings have spiritual aspiration and by spirit we can get into a long discussion about that, but some sense there's sacredness, a basic experience of sacredness that we all share that can either be expressed through organized religion or expressed through non-religious, but spiritual, or through even an atheist responding to science, I think they're all part of the same very human response to the world and sacredness is at the root of all of that,” he said.