From the New Scientist:

How does art inspire science? It may seem a difficult question to answer with any empirical evidence, but in a new research project Scottish scientists aim to do just that.

Launched yesterday, What Scientists Read? will aim to find out what influence literature has on scientists and the decisions they make.

I think we’ve all suspected for a while that science fiction gives people ideas as to what to research.  Perhaps this project will confirm it, and provide some other interesting facts.