Boffins back Blade Runner
Inspired by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - a short story by sci-fi supremo Philip K Dick on the unforeseen consequences of artificial intelligence - Blade Runner provides a bleak vision of a future Los Angeles.
The movie follows jaded anti-hero Deckard (Harrison Ford) as he hunts down a team of rogue androids, known as replicants, led by a distinctly Aryan Rutger Hauer.
Dr Stephen Minger, a stem cell biologist at King's College London and respondent to the poll, carried out by the Guardian newspaper, described Blade Runner as unequivocally "the best movie ever made", claiming: "It was so far ahead of its time and the whole premise of the story - what is it to be human and who are we, where we come from? It's the age-old questions."
The late great Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, recognised by many as the blueprint for the visuals of nearly every subsequent space movie - from Star Wars to Space Balls - came in second.
The film examines the age-old question of "are we alone in the universe" and "where do we come from", as well as serving as a stark reminder of the consequences of scientific endeavour.
George Lucas' first two instalments of the original Star Wars trilogy came in joint third place, followed closely by Ridley Scott's second entry in the poll, space horror Alien. Andrei Tarkovsky's understated, but haunting, ghost story Solaris - which was recently re-made staring George Clooney - came in fifth.
Isaac Asimov was voted the scientists' top science fiction author. "Unlike a lot of sci-fi writers, Asimov knew how to explain the science and was a great populariser of real science," explained professor Mark Brake, a lecturer at Glamorgan University.
There have been more than ten films made based on Asimov's work - including this summer's blockbuster I, Robot - but none made it into the top five.
Top five science fiction films
1 Blade Runner
2 2001: A Space Odyssey
3 Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back
Top five science fiction authors
1 Isaac Asimov
2 John Wyndham
3 Fred Hoyle
4 Philip K Dick
5 HG Wells
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