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Fighting for the FutureEssays on Star Trek: Discovery$
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Sabrina Mittermeier and Mareike Spychala

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621761

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Star Trek Discovers Women

Star Trek Discovers Women

Gender, Race, Science, and Michael Burnham

(p.267) Star Trek Discovers Women
Fighting for the Future

Amy C. Chambers


Women scientists are often seen as anomalous exceptions in the fictional (and indeed real) world of white, male dominated scientific research. Even in the supposedly race and gender blind future of Star Trek, a black woman science specialist is considered revolutionary. Science and technology are a backdrop for the Star Trek universe. The theory and practice that gives the narrative a spectacular speculative frame is often perceived as neutral (or at least benevolent) as Starfleet explores the universe. Star Trek idealises science and the scientist, and throughout much of its history the science future it imagines has been distinctly white and male. This chapter argues that Star Trek has historically given women the space to be scientists, but Discovery goes further than previous entries into the canon by taking a black woman scientist from the margin to the centre of the story and offering a future when neither race nor gender present a barrier.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, science, gender, technology, women in science, black women in science, science in fiction, science communication, science and technology

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