B0ldly Going for Half a Century!
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been a Trekkie for 50 years. I was a tiny kid when the first Star Trek episodes showed up on TV. I remember watching it on the first-ever color TV we had. Daddy parked it in the corner of the living room of the house we had bought a few months earlier. I was immediately taken with the show, its premise, and its exotic travels. Oh, and the characters, too. They were over-the-top cool! Although I liked Captain Kirk, I thought the characters of Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura were just amazing.
What Star Trek Did For Fans
Scratch the surface of many an astronomer, scientist, and even a few doctors of my acquaintance, and you find a Trekkie. It matters not if they came of age during TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, or the latest incarnation of the series in an alternate universe. Many who grew up watching it came away with an indelible sense of infinite possibilities in their lives. Because of Uhura (and the lovely Ms. Nichelle Nichols who brought her to life), many of us female types found that we could dream about careers in science, exploring the cosmos.
Thanks to Mr. Spock (and the amazing Leonard Nimoy), we also found that it was cool to be a geeky science type. Best of all, we could follow that passion wherever it led us. Many folks I know are talented artists who create amazingly gorgeous Trek art (such as Tim Kuzniar) and music. Thanks to the exotic settings and aliens the crews encountered, more of us realized that life was possible, with infinite diversity in infinite combinations. Most of all, thanks to the ideals of the original show and sequels, movies, and books, we learned about diversity and tolerance. Those are ideals sorely needed in these times. Moreover, many episodes are great stories that tug at the intellect and the heart-strings.
Trek and Me
Trek still influences MY life even today. I participate in a popular award-winning podcast called Outpost, a Star Trek Fan Production, playing a ship captain and a Klingon pirate. Professionally, I’m just as much of a scientist as I ever was, boldly learning about the cosmos. But, thanks to other Trekkies (among them my dad and my co-author Jack Brandt) and the influence of the late Carl Sagan (whose son Nick Sagan wrote for Star Trek at one time), my life’s work has been centered on sharing astronomy and science with the public. I’ve written many documentary scripts, countless articles, several books, and it just goes on. I have a universe of material to share! One of my greatest joys is organizing and giving science talks at our local con, where attendees get to meet and mingle with scientists and celebrities from the science fiction and fantasy universes.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trek with all of us who recognize what major contributions this series has made — from spacecraft to astronomers to everyday technology. You have a cosmos of episodes, books, and movies to learn where it all came from (if you haven’t already). You can always find something to learn and like in Star Trek.