When it comes to sci-fi people think of the epic technology, or the little notes on the social aspects of our species. For better or worse, a glimpse into the human mind and heart. We see the writers as people who were able to see us in a light so few can and with that power look beyond with a vague sense of prophecy to how we have developed in one manner or another.
All to often however I think we fail to recognize the people in the middle. These are the men and women who, like us, were inspired by what they read or saw on the big screen. However, rather than sitting there bright eyed and saying “ ooh that would be neat!” these individuals stood up, and made it happen, or at the very least made an attempt.
Granted there are many still able to recall the moon landings, and other major feats in our science golden age. While yes we are still on a technological boom as a species, as an individual nation the U.S is falling behind at a rapid pace. Education systems focused more on repeating known facts, and information gathering. They do not teach people to take risk, to reach for the unknown and try to actually teach themselves in a new light. We had the advantage in the early space programs, inspiration. Today we simply don't. Watching mice vomit in zero G in low orbit for the last few decades is not advancing. Those who do reach spent a great deal of time looking into sci-fi and dreaming. This is what we need once more. Dreamers, people who dared to ask the unknown, and search for it without turning to google. Only then will humanity find itself on a track to making that next step, be it cultural, or technological. People just have to be willing to try once again.