In his review essay on Star Trek: The Exhibition, Edward Rothstein points out a number of anachronisms and anamolies, most stemming from the original television series and its spin-offs. He notes that mixing reality and pop culture may do neither justice. Points taken. (I saw this exhibition in San Diego). For those of us who grew up on ST: TOS and its offspring and who are fond of the Star Trek mythos, however, this show doesn't represent the reality or history of space flight. But that, as I understand it, isn't really the point of Star Trek: The Exhibition. The point is to examine the effect of the show on the generations who have watched and grown up with the show, and the effect of those viewers on Star Trek. See also the program (available on DVD) How William Shatner Changed the World, based on his book I'm Working On That: A Trek From Science Fiction To Science Fact (2004).
Can one exhibition capture all of that involvement and energy? Probably not. Many people have written books attempting to measure these effects. But this particular exhibition at least allows some of us to examine the evidence.
For more on the interaction of Star Trek and popular culture see also
Andreadis, Athena, To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek (1998).
Barad, Judith, The Ethics of Star Trek (2001).
Barrett, Michele, and Duncan Barrett, Star Trek: The Human Frontier (2000).
Bernardi, Daniel, Star Trek and History: Race-ing Toward a White Future (1998).
Hanley, Rick, Is Data Human? The Metaphysics of Star Trek (1998).
Jenkins, Robert, and Susan Jenkins, The Biology of Star Trek (1999).
Joseph, Paul, and Sharon Carton, The Law of the Federation: Images of Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Star Trek: The Next Generation, 24 U. Tol. L. Rev. 43 (1992). The ancestor of all law and pop culture law review articles on Star Trek.
Kraemer, Ross, William Cassidy, and Susan L. Schwartz, Religions of Star Trek (2008).
Krauss, Lawrence, The Physics of Star Trek (rev. ed.)(2007).
Marinaccio, Dave, All I Really Needed To Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek (1995).
Paulsen, Michael Stokes, Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise of Constitutional Interpretation: Some Modest Proposals From the Twenty-Third Century, 59 Alb. L. Rev. 671 (1995).
Richards, Thomas, The Meaning of Star Trek (1999).
Roberts, Robin, Sexual Generations: Star Trek: The Next Generation and Gender (1999).
Scharf, Michael P. and Lawrence Robert, The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and Star Trek: The Next Generation, 25 U. Tol. L. Rev. 577 (1994).
Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant (Kevin S. Decker and Jason Eberl, eds. 2008).
Star Trek and Sacred Ground (Jennifer Porter, ed.; 2000).
Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice (Robert H. Chaires and Bradley Chilton eds.; 2002). Reprints previously published but interesting material, including the Paulsen, Joseph & Carton and Scharf & Robert essays, above.