Trek Talks: Space, Diplomacy and the United Federation of Planets

Debuting at the height of the US-Soviet Space Race, Star Trek offered an alternative to the adversarial ideology then underlying space exploration in the United Federation of Planets. A kind of intergalactic United Nations, the Federation is dedicated to preserving peace between species, ridding the known universe of war, inequality, hunger, and disease, and upholding the values of cooperation, equality, justice and liberty for all.

The Federation's utopian balance between principled interventionism and self-determination is embodied in the Prime Directive, which decrees that Starfleet — the combined military, scientific, and exploratory forces of the Federation — must not interfere with either the cultural evolution or internal politics of "pre-warp" civilizations to avoid impacting their independent development. A number of storylines in both series and films centre on threats to the Federation (from both within and outside), the precariousness of peacebuilding, the difficulties of diplomacy, and the need to understand and accommodate cultural difference within a collective.

This round-table discussion on Star Trek, politics, and diplomacy brings together Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, feature-film writer and director Nicholas Meyer (director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) and Margaret Weitekamp, space history curator at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, to consider what the series can teach us about geopolitics and peace-building.


$23.75 Adult

$19.25 Senior

$19.25 Student

$17.00 Child/Youth

Trek Talks: Space, Diplomacy and the United Federation of Planets

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