Star Trek/Human Rights: To Boldly Go to Human Rights for All

Event Date

Crocker Art Museum - Setzer Foundation Auditorium; 216 O St., Sacramento


The University of California, Davis, Human Rights Lecture Series takes off with a talk about “Star Trek,” featuring new UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “Star Trek/Human Rights: To Boldly Go to Human Rights for All” on Dec. 4 starts the three-event series with Chancellor May and Human Rights Studies director Keith David Watenpaugh.

It will explore how the ideas and topics raised by the “Star Trek” television series and movies can be a teaching tool for human rights topics and barometer of where we stand on human rights. The 7 p.m. talk will be held at the Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento. This is the first time one of the talks has been held in Sacramento. Admission is free.

“Linking human rights issues to a familiar and beloved popular culture phenomenon creates a starting point for conversations about a difficult topic,” Watenpaugh said.

Watenpaugh will deliver the primary program topic, then he and he and the chancellor will discuss and exchange ideas.

Both scholars are long-time fans of “Star Trek.” May has said comic books, science fiction and especially “Star Trek” led to his early interest in science and technology. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley in 1999, then started his career at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he last served as dean of the College of Engineering. Watenpaugh has used the issues raised in “Star Trek” in several of his classes.