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    Science and technology

    Chambers, Amy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3801-3582 and Skains, R Lyle (2022) Science and technology. In: The Routledge Handbook of Star Trek. Routledge Literature Handbooks . Routledge, pp. 348-356. ISBN 9780429347917 (ebook); 9780367366674 (hardback)

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    Abstract

    This chapter presents the science and technology of Star Trek within a cultural framework rather than a reductive focus on scientific accuracy and the transition of technology from fiction to fact. Star Trek has offered one of the most consistently positive images of science and scientists since its inception. Star Trek’s science is a formative cultural structure inspiring not only how the stories progress, but also how the storyworld has been re-/imagined in response to changes in scientific knowledge, as well as public understanding of and attitudes to science. Star Trek’s imagined future is one where advances in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have led to a post-scarcity utopia. This environment, however, is still framed as a technological future that must be earned; “primitive” societies must develop and discover their own innovations without interference from Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets. The chapter explores this discourse, the arguments it makes about Star Trek’s role in modern cultures of science and technology, as well as how the fictional world mirrors and interacts with those cultures.

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