By Todd Reitzel
The recent announcement that the next Star Trek movie will be released in 2016 reminds us that we are approaching the franchise’s 50th anniversary. The original Star Trek series premiered on September 8, 1966, and after being canceled three years later, the show thrived in American culture via reruns, fan conventions, books, movies, websites, documentaries, and four sequel series. Catchphrases such as “Beam me up, Scotty” and “He’s dead, Jim” have flourished for nearly half a century now, with more recent additions to the pantheon such as “Make it so” and “Resistance is futile”. Trekkies go to varying lengths to display and celebrate their devotion to the various themes, tropes, and memes portrayed by Star Trek. Recently, one Long Island father even converted his basement into a Star Trek ship interior.
If Star Trek has infused our culture with a variety of ideas, it has also inspired our technology and science. The same imagination used by the franchise’s writers and producers to envision the future is now being harnessed to inspire real science and technology. The show demonstrated the tablet computer long before the iPad premiered in 2010. And recent stories in Forbes and The Washington Post report how current science and engineering may lead to real, live Trek tech.
So this week, the AAPS Blog will feature posts with ideas about the pharmaceutical sciences inspired by Star Trek, including antiradiation drugs, the value of imagination to advancing pharmaceutical science, and needlefree injection systems. Engage!