I was very pleased to read G. Pascal Zachary’s Opinion piece in the November 2012 issue of the IEEE Spectrum magazine. Yes, fiction has an important role to play in inspiring creativity among the engineering set. In fact, according to Zachary, science fiction has influenced a host of innovative devices; Werner von Braun, the pioneer of rocketry, was inspired by Jules Verne and his fictional descriptions of space travel, for example.
What I found inspiring in the piece was Zachary’s suggestion that engineers use writing to provoke original, creative thinking. Let me know if you decide to try it!