Edward Elmer “Doc” Smith, was an actual Ph.d who invented the science-fiction genre “space opera”. When he was in his Clark Kent role, he was a chemical engineer who worked for a doughnut factory, Dawn Doughnut Company. But he is better remembered for sci-fi stories like; Triplanetary, The Skylark of Space, Subspace Encounter, and Spacehounds of IPC, the list goes on.
Doc Smith’s contribution to the genre were techno-babble terms like protective shield, mothership, Lifeboat, force field, flying wing and a host of others. Clearly Star Trek and Star Wars owe their techno-babble to Smith.
I personally have never read any of his work and I only recently discovered a free online library of it. But because I’m a historian at heart, I think that Smith’s books are still relevant to this era of ever increasing technology and knowledge as we race toward the the cliff of oblivion, or something greater than ourselves.