College of Science

National Science Fiction Day: Five sci-fi favorites even scientists love


Two Clemson University College of Science faculty members have recommended a few of their favorite sci-fi films and television shows in honor of National Science Fiction Day on January 2.

headshot of woman with glasses wearing a blue lab coat
Julia Brumaghim
headshot of Jason Brown
Jason Brown

Jason Brown, a principal lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, describes himself as a 1970s sci-fi film buff.

Julia Brumaghim, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, says her love for science fiction helped her get into college. “I wrote one of my college entrance examinations about the multiculturalism of the Star Trek universe, and I was accepted, too!” 

Here are some of their favorites:

Star Trek

The “Star Trek” TV series started in 1966 and remains a popular and well-known franchise. Brumaghim says she’s been a fan for a very long time. “Not only did STEM play a significant part of the show and often saved the day — but it also showcased and often celebrated different cultures.” 

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Brown calls this 1976 film “a chilling indictment on our modern times from an alien’s perspective.” The late singer David Bowie plays an alien that comes to Earth trying to find water to save his home planet.


This film, directed by George Lucas in 1971, follows the journey of THX 1138 and LUH 3417, characters who stop taking the mandatory medication that controls human emotion. In this imagined future, people don’t have names, only designations with three arbitrary letters and four numbers. Brown says this social science fiction film is “an early dystopian sci-fi film. Very ‘1984.’” 


This HBO TV series centers on a futuristic theme park populated by androids, where guests pay to pretend to be Wild West gunslingers. Brown says, “you can’t beat that Yul Brynner cowboy robot.” 

2001: A Space Odyssey

In this adaptation of a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, man and machine end up in a showdown, sending them through space and time. “Hands down the best space movie ever produced,” says Brown.

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