September 7, 2012

Forty-Six Years of a Wagon Train To the Stars

Google's home page for today, September 7, 2012, features an adorable tribute to Star Trek: The Original Series (ST:TOS), which debuted on September 7, 1969. Click on the figures--sound effects!

Star Trek, and its spin-off shows have had a profound impact on popular culture. Dean Martha Minow made mention of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST: TNG)--the famous episode Measure of a Man--in her address to the graduating class of 2011. According to this New York Times article, both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney (and both also perhaps not incidentally HLS  grads) are ST fans. The late Rev. Martin Luther King famously urged actress Nichelle Nicholas not to leave the show after her first year because of her iconic presence as Lt. Uhura. And legal scholars have found time to write about the law-related themes on the various ST shows. Now, that's legal and societal impact.

Selected bibliography

Daniel Bernardi, Star Trek in the 1960s: Liberal-Humanism and the Production of Race, 24 Science Fiction Studies 209 (1997).

Paul Joseph and Sharon Carton, The Law of the Federation: Images of Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Star Trek, the Next Generation, 24 University of Toledo Law Review 43 (1992-1993).

Michael P. Scharf and Lawrence D. Roberts,  The Interstellar Relations of the Federation: International Law and Star Trek - The Next Generation, 25 University of Toledo Law Review 577 (1994).

Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice (Robert H. Chaires and Bradley Chilton, eds., University of North Texas Press, 2004).

More about the show's impact on pop culture here (from the Christian Science Monitor), a check on the ST:TOS cast here (from ABC News).

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