Scientific Fiction: Science Advising on Star Trek, 1964–1967

Lunchtime Lectures
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.


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Join us for a talk by Ingrid Ockert, Haas Postdoctoral Fellow at the Science History Institute.


Ingrid Ockert Headshot

Ingrid Ockert

Science History Institute/Jay Muhlin

For many the television series Star Trek is synonymous with scientific advancement. Many of the ideas presented in the original 1960s series have become part of our daily lives. In 2020 you can talk with people through video screens, call up information instantly with a personal computer, diagnose medical issues with technological instruments, and call people through a rectangular device. So how did Star Trek become associated with serious science? Was it pure coincidence? Or was it intentionally planned? In search of answers Ockert probed production files and memos held at UCLA, NASA, and the National Air and Space Museum. In this talk she will chat about her findings and share some stories about the early years of Star Trek’s history.


About the Speaker

Ingrid Ockert is a historian of science and media in the 20th century. She holds a PhD from the History of Science Program at Princeton University. Previously, she ran a lecture series for Princeton’s Council on Science. She has collaborated with Oregon Public Broadcasting, WGBH, WHYY, and WPRB. Ingrid’s work has been supported with grants from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center, NASA, and AmeriCorps. She also serves as a cochair for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Scholarly Advisory Committee.

About the Series

Lunchtime Lectures are a series of (mostly) weekly, informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of the Institute staff and fellows and interested members of the public.