Is it culturally pertinent to the extent that it'd duly attract scholarly recognition. Do both TOS, TNG, DS9 fit the rule for this? Have the shows inspired modern scientists of the current time to enter the field?? If so, how can this be quantifiably measurated [as in the overall impact gauged]. (More detail: That the filmed series is not primarily intended for the general television enthusiast; relevance extending beyond the main layperson audience.)
closed as primarily opinion-based by Politank-Z, Rogue Jedi, jwodder, Jason Baker, Rand al'Thor♦ Mar 29 '16 at 22:57
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Certainly, Star Trek has inspired people to pursue careers in science
You ask, "Have the shows inspired modern scientists of the current time to enter the field??" The answer is most certainly yes.
- Astrophysicist Candy Torres cites Star Trek as one of the reasons she became a scientist (read more here)
Weaned on the vision of an enlightened spacefaring society that "Star Trek" offered, and inspired by President John F. Kennedy's call to put an American on the moon, Torres dedicated herself at an early age to working in the space program.
"It was easy to aspire to a future like that where people got along regardless of race or religion, just because they were human. Being a lifelong 'Star Trek' fan made me see the space program not just as sci-fi, but as a positive vision of the future, at a time when we desperately needed those positive visions."
- Novelist R.C. Davison, author of Orbital Maneuvers, pursued a degree in physics because of Star Trek and Mr. Spock in particular (read more here)
TV offered a few programs that were on during the time I was allowed to watch it: Twilight Zone (Scared me.), Outer Limits (Scared me even more!), Lost in Space (Wanted to be part of the Robinson family.), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Interesting, but every week it was a new monster trying to destroy the sub.), Land of the Giants (Didn’t get to watch this one too much.) and the one that blew them all away—Star Trek! (Ahhh!) The technology, the characters and the special effects mesmerized me. (Yes, special effects. Don’t laugh! Taken in the context of TV sci-fi programs in the sixties, Star Trek was a quantum leap above the rest.)
I found myself particularly fascinated with Mr. Spock—the pure intellect, the cool, emotionless logic and the apparent mastery of everything having to do with science and math. Mr. Spock was my inspiration to pursue a career in the sciences. Star Trek, coupled with the fervor growing with the Apollo Space Program, and the goal of landing on the Moon by the end of the decade, fueled my desire to be out there exploring The Final Frontier.
- Professor Philip Kesten of Santa Clara University was inspired to become a physicist by Star Trek and now teaches a "Physics of Star Trek" course at the University (read more here)
“What we’re doing in the Physics of Star Trek is literally peeling back a little piece of science that seems interesting and seeing how deeply we can go into it. I started the term by looking at the solar system and then the galaxy and the universe, because, hey, what is Star Trek really about? It’s going where no man has gone before. So, what’s out there? And once we understand what’s out there we can understand why we want to go there and how we’re going to get there. So that led me to look at, say, the development of warp drive. But if you don’t understand how far away Vulcan is, why would you care about warp drive? So it all has to hang together. It has to hang together the same way a Star Trek story does, and I’m telling them a story, essentially.”