From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Throughout his life, Fuller was concerned with the question "Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how?" Considering himself an average individual without special monetary means or academic degree, he chose to devote his life to this question, trying to find out what an individual like him could do to improve humanity's condition that large organizations, governments, or private enterprises inherently could not do.
Pursuing this lifelong experiment, Fuller wrote more than thirty books, coining and popularizing terms such as "spaceship earth", ephemeralization, and synergetics. He also worked in the development of numerous inventions, chiefly in the fields of design and architecture, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as buckyballs were named for their resemblance to a geodesic sphere.
Late in his life, after working on his concepts for several decades, Fuller had achieved considerable public visibility. He traveled the world giving lectures, and received numerous honorary doctorates. Most of his inventions, however, never made it into production, and he was strongly criticized in most fields he tried to influence such as architecture, or simply dismissed as a hopeless utopian. Fuller's proponents, on the other hand, claim that his work has not yet received the attention that it deserves. According to philosopher N.J.Slabbert, Fuller has an obscure writing style which has impeded the circulation of his ideas.