Fifty years ago Star Trek beamed into television sets for the first time, igniting an international passion for an imagined future that has played out in movies, books and conventions ever since. Today devoted fans speak the Klingon language and the residents of Riverside, Iowa, claim dibs on the future birthplace of Capt. James Tiberius Kirk—and many scientists trace their spacefaring curiosities back to this fantasy. The show’s impact on the breadth of scientific imagination has proved as fathomless as space itself. Director Craig Thompson takes on the challenge of exploring Star Trek’s vast web of influence in the upcoming documentary The Truth Is in the Stars. Thompson discussed Star Trek’s influence on culture and scientific advancement in a live Webcast Wednesday night. He was joined by three other panelists from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. Perimeter director Neil Turok, Perimeter researcher Avery Broderick and rocket scientist Natalie Panek expounded on the lasting impact Star Trek has made on them and on society.   

Watch the video to hear what insights this collaboration of scientific and artistic minds has on an iconic fiction fixture that continues to inspire science. The discussion is part of Perimeter’s public lecture series presented by BMO Financial.