Museum boldly goes into the space between science and fiction

The fusion of fact and fiction is at the centre of an exhibition at the Science Museum in London that aims to popularise concepts of mathematics, biology and, above all, physics, with props and characters from
Star Trek used to explain subjects such as rocket propulsion and space exploration.

The fusion of fact and fiction is at the centre of an exhibition at the Science Museum in London that aims to popularise concepts of mathematics, biology and, above all, physics, with props and characters from Star Trek used to explain subjects such as rocket propulsion and space exploration.

The exhibition recreates areas of the USS Enterprise - the bridge, the transporter room, the sick bay - with interactive exhibits arranged around them, which allow complex aspects of science to be explored by visitors.

The displays, designed with children in mind, deal with topics including the creation of simulated matter (as used to power the Starship Enterprise), controlling an electron beam, detecting cosmic rays and using magnetic force.

Props from the Star Trek series and films are compared in exhibits with real technological developments such as Biojector, a device using compressed carbon dioxide to penetrate the skin to inject medicine without damage to human tissue.

Trekkies talk with pride about the insistence of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the series, on sound science and point out that sliding doors, computer disks and portable communicator devices all appeared in Star Trek before being made commercially.

A popular exhibit uses the transporter room, associated with the Star Trek catchphrase: "Beam me up, Scottie", to explore the blue-screen technology of virtual reality, while another uses thermal imaging to map heat spots in the bodies of visitors.

The exhibition was first created by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in the United States, in 1992. It has even been at the Science Museum before, five years ago. Consequently, some exhibits are starting to show their age and several have already broken, even though the show has been open to the public for just three days. Many information displays carry references to the 20th century, which grates with many now that we have entered the 21st.

Perhaps the bigger question is how far the collaboration of science and fiction should be taken, especially as the show was devised in conjunction with Paramount Pictures, makers of the Star Trek feature films, which is no doubt benefiting from the publicity. The museum is also doing a brisk trade in Star Trek merchandise outside the exhibition hall.

Entry to the exhibition plus the museum costs an adult £12. Entry for children, who can visit the museum free, is £5.75. Several visitors said they found the entrance fee too high. Philip Toop, 43, an equities trader from north London, visiting with his son, Simon, nine, said: "We are very disappointed by the exhibition. It seems to me not really about Star Trek as such. It is a vehicle for the museum to place its other exhibits in a Star Trek format ... and a device to raise money for the museum."

Graham Cranfield, 55, visiting with his son, Stephen, 20, said: "One or two exhibits were not actually functioning ... I think it is a little bit expensive."

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments