Professor to Examine the STEM of ‘FRINGE’

Scott Tilley Takes a Closer Look at TV Show’s Science Fact, Fiction

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Time travel. Parallel universes. Quantum entanglement. Genetic engineering. Immersive man/machine interfaces. Artificial evolution.

Each of these scientific achievements and cosmic happenings were featured on “FRINGE,” the quirky Fox Network drama that concluded last year after five seasons and 100 episodes. (It remains available on Netflix.)

They were entertaining facets of the show, to be sure, but were they just television hocus-pocus, or is there some scientific reality at work here? And what are the connections between the show’s science and the increasingly important areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM?

Scott Tilley, a professor in the Department of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Science at Florida Institute of Technology, will tackle that question, and more, in a free, one-hour lecture as the university’s Physics and Space Sciences Public Lecture Series begins its 2014-15 season.

Tilley’s lecture, “The STEM of FRINGE,” is from 8-9 p.m. Aug. 22 at Olin Engineering Complex Auditorium (Room EC 118) on the Florida Tech campus, 150 W. University Blvd. in Melbourne.

In addition to examining how realistic those elements of the show were, Tilley will explore the science of “FRINGE” and whether humankind will even have the engineering knowledge to build the technology that could turn “science fiction into science fact.”

“And if we did, how would these new developments affect society in terms of individual freedom, ethical behavior and self-determination?” Tilley asked.


Following the lecture and weather permitting, Florida Tech’s Student Astronomical Society will open up the school’s 32-inch Ortega telescope for public viewing; three smaller telescopes will be on hand for “astronomical hors d’oeuvres,” as well.

Those interested in this hands-on astronomy who have a telescope or are thinking about getting one, may join the Melbourne Astronomical Society at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at its meeting in room 144 of the Olin Physical Sciences building on the Florida Tech campus.

Maps and directions for all these events and additional information on the lecture series can be found at


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