Realising in fact what has been dreamed in fiction…

solar-storm
Image: NASA/SDO/AIA/GSFC

“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life,” wrote the Irish author Oscar Wilde. “Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by painter or sculptor, or realises in fact what has been dreamed in fiction.”

This was certainly true when we did part 1 of our first “Europa Report” read-through on Saturday. Our five participants in this ‘test flight’ came from five countries spread across three continents and 14 time zones, and they were absolutely magnificent – it was thrilling to listen to them!

But just as we got to the point in the script where a solar storm ‘fries’ the ship’s communications, we suddenly lost Skype contact with the person playing the role of William Xu, our mission commander… (Fortunately, William was able to rejoin us a few pages later!)

I’m going to be presenting the results of this study in January at the Association for Science Education Annual Conference, which is being held at the University of Reading in the UK.

Interestingly, the town of Reading brings us back to Oscar Wilde: he spent 18 months in Reading Gaol (prison) and, after his release in 1897, wrote the poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”.

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