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Engaging With the Sci-Tech of Self/Less’s Sci-Fi

Researchers can leverage pop culture to talk about their projects

3 min read
Engaging With the Sci-Tech of Self/Less’s Sci-Fi
Tech Transfer: Ben Kingsley (rear) and Ryan Reynolds play the combined role of a wealthy man seeking immortality.
Photo: Focus Features

Last month, the science-fiction movie thriller Self/Less opened in the United States, and the film is currently rolling out worldwide. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley, Self/Less is premised on a brain-scanning immortality technology that allows a person’s consciousness to be transferred to a new body.

These days, this kind of movie begets a sci-tech charm offensive: Modern audiences pay more attention to the believability of science-fiction flicks than was once the case. Thanks to the Internet, if someone can explain why a movie’s ideas are ridiculous, word gets around. Consequently, moviemakers and studios have increasingly been using researchers as consultants during production or to explain a film’s details and implications to the public after the fact.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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