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“Ready To Beam Up”: Star Trek and its Interactions with Science, Research and Technology

  • Joachim Allgaier
Chapter

Abstract

Star Trek has been popular not only with various international audiences; in fact, it has become a sort of icon of popular culture. Its imagery, style and ideas have inspired and motivated many scientists, researchers and inventors. There have been numerous interesting and fruitful interactions between the real world of science and research and Star Trek’s fictional world. This contribution investigates how various researchers, scientists and research institutions have referred to Star Trek in their work and how ideas and particular aspects and technologies of the Star Trek universe have been used in public science communication. Star Trek technology was also used as reference point to ignite innovation. For instance, in early 2017, the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize competition awarded more than $10 million in prizes to teams that attempted to make real-world, non-invasive, diagnostic devices inspired by the Star Trek tricorder. The chapter also explains how NASA teamed up with some of the actors from Star Trek in order to engage with various audiences, and even to recruit young astronauts. Star Trek provides many opportunities to study the interactions between science, research and popular culture.

Keywords

Science communication Popular culture Science and society Science to public Science fiction Innovation Science and technology studies Star Trek 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science, Technology and Society StudiesAlpen-Adria-Universität KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria

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