A podcast by Elise Hamner
For fifty-five years, the Star Trek science fiction series has influenced the creation of everyday technology from cell phones to computer tablets to video conferencing. It is also a series of stories through which people have explored social, political, and ethical problems relevant to contemporary society. In this discussion, Dr. Jose-Antonio Orosco examines how science fiction like Star Trek might be the kind of perspective we need today to strengthen our hope for building a better future at a time when the world seems overcome with crises. At its heart, Star Trek is the story of humanity creating utopia out of dystopia. Part of that has to do with the development of technology and fantastic scientific discoveries, but Orosco believes Star Trek also helps to shape our imagination so that we can recognize our capacities to cooperate and respect one another better. Sharing examples from the Civil Rights Movement to the work of Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, Orosco demonstrates how Star Trek and science fiction in general is an important tool for those interested in fighting to make the world a better place.