'Star Trek' Boldly Goes Into Education With Lecture Series

Star Trek TV Still - H 2015
A yearlong program will explore the crossover between real-world science and the science fiction franchise.

The next frontier in the celebrations of Star Trek's half-century anniversary isn't visiting a new galaxy, facing off against an alien race that would make the Borg nervous or even someone finally getting around to inventing transporter technology. Instead, CBS Consumer Products has announced Trek Talks, a series of lectures designed to examine the ways in which Star Trek has interacted with the real world throughout its history.

In a series of talks taking place from July 2016 through July 2017 in colleges, universities, museums and elsewhere — CBS' official release references "academic and entertainment institutions" — topics discussed will include Star Trek's impact on (and prediction of) the information age, the show's utopian idea of a multi-cultural society and the way the show addresses the idea of scientific exploration.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Liz Kalodner, CBS Consumer Products executive vice president and general manager of Star Trek, said that the franchise "has helped shape our collective perspective … From technological advancements to racial and economic equality, Star Trek has broached a broad and varied range of subjects over the years. These Trek Talks will address its impact and provide an entertaining and educational forum to discuss such influence."

Partners for the program include NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and New York's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, with talks already scheduled for September's Star Trek: Mission New York and this summer's San Diego Comic-Con.

The official 50th anniversary for Star Trek is Sep. 8, with the latest cinematic installment of the series, Star Trek Beyond, set to fly into theaters on July 22.