As the world mourns the death of Leonard Nemoy, I am reminded of the legacy he, and the cast and creators of Star Trek have left the world.
The following wonderful examples of how Star Trek has changed the world can be found on Wikipedia:
- Marc D. Rayman, the chief propulsion engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory became interested in propulsion through Star Trek. The Ion Propulsion on one of NASA’s deep space probes was inspired by a Star Trek episode. Star Trek inspired the name of the first Space Shuttle, “Enterprise”.
- Martin Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone and the chief engineer at Motorolo, states that Star Trek was the inspiration for his intention.
- Mae C. Jemison was inspired by Star Trek to become the first African American in space, while Seth Shostak was led to astronomy through Star Trek’s influence. He now works for SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence).
- Star Trek popularized the notion of the user- friendly personal computer. Trek fan Ed Roberts invented the first home computer, the Altair 8800, named after the solar system Altair (Altair 6) in the Star Trek episode “Amok Time”. This led to Bill Gates writing the computer programming language BASIC for the Altair and the birth of Microsoft.
- Kevin Warwick from the University of Reading was inspired by the Borg (beings with a collective consciousness and intelligence) to create cyborg implants, linking his own nervous system to the internet.
- Even the spin off series had impact. Steve Perlman, at the time principal scientist at Apple Computers, was inspired to invent QuickTime media player by watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Science fiction is often talked about for inspiring future inventions. In fact, it is the creator that stimulates the inventor. Our books, Nourish the Flame Within and Feel the Power, are about energy and its flow and potency. Here is a classic example. The imagination of one writer spawns the germ of an idea in someone else, with the energy of ideas propagating across time.
This is the nature of creativity. Given that the universe is a process of creation building upon itself, we see this time and again, from larger elements like iron and gold created in stars that go to create planets, to the development from theatre to silent movies, talkies, cartoons and computer animation. Each development builds on the steps before it.
Leonard Nemoy was part of an inspirational movement that led to changes in life paths that may never have happened had it not been for Gene Roddenberry’s creation. It is incredible to think that something so simple could change the energy flow of so many people’s lives. Amazing to consider the immense mental energy that powered these shifts in direction and how our lives have been enriched in myriad ways; perhaps too many to fully appreciate.
Let us remember Leonard Nemoy, the inspirational Star trek series that he was a part of and others like him who have inspired and will continue to inspire generations long after their deaths.