I love good quality sci-fi, and even some of the not-so-good stuff. Some of my favourite viewing is sci-fi from the Star Trek genre, expecially the Voyager series with Kathryn Janeway and Seven of Nine.
Hope and possibilities
When I was a child in the 60s the original Star Trek offered me worlds of hope and excitement, possibilities of change, and a universe to explore. Between Star Trek and the Apollo space program there were no limits to what humans could do (in the best possible way).
I think the world would be a much better place if it had more sci-fi.
The sci-fi barrier
I’m not a typical woman, it seems (as if I didn’t know that already). Sci-fi paraphernalia may be keeping some women away from fields such as computer science, as a recent study seems to show:
In the first experiment, students entered a small classroom that either contained objects stereotypically associated with computer science such as Star Trek posters, video game boxes and Coke cans, or non-stereotypical items such as nature posters, art, a dictionary and coffee mugs. The students were told to ignore these objects because the room was being shared with another class. After spending several moments in the classroom, the students filled out questionnaires that asked about their attitude toward computer science.
Women exposed to the stereotypical setup expressed less interest in computer science than those who saw the non-stereotypical objects. Men placed in the same situations did not show a similar drop in interest in computer science.
As I read more about the study I kept looking for reasons to fault the researchers’ conclusions, but the evidence mounted. Sadly, further experiments all supported the initial conclusion:
“These studies suggest objects such as science fiction books and Star Trek posters communicate whether or not a person belongs in an environment.”
No boundaries for good or ill
Afterthought: sci-fi and the space program in the 60s and 70s seemed to remove all boundaries preventing us humans achieving our greatest potential. In this millenium, crime shows such as CSI and real-life security measures seem to show we humans have no boundaries in achieving the worst we can do.