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Star Trek’s Impact on Space City: Thursday’s Show (September 8, 2016)

Fifty years ago today, on Sept. 8, 1966, Star Trek debuted on American television. The original television series lasted just three seasons, but a legion of fans kept Trek culture alive for a decade, leading to a series of films, which spawned a new TV series, which led to three additional series, and more movies, […]

Houston Matters Star Trek 50th Anniversary Logo - Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaFifty years ago today, on Sept. 8, 1966, Star Trek debuted on American television. The original television series lasted just three seasons, but a legion of fans kept Trek culture alive for a decade, leading to a series of films, which spawned a new TV series, which led to three additional series, and more movies, and then a reboot, and even now another series is launching. But Star Trek‘s influence extends well beyond popular culture: it has inspired generations to get involved in aerospace, to pursue technological advances that have had extraordinary impact on medicine (think medical scans), communication (smart phones, anyone?) and many other critical aspects of our lives.

The influence of Star Trek is especially evident here in Space City, home of Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center, where Houstonians have pursued careers that owe at least a small nod to concepts first introduced on a science fiction TV series 50 years ago.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the legacy and impact of Star Trek on Greater Houston with Matt Abbott, flight director at Johnson Space Center, and Dr. Dorit Donoviel, deputy chief scientist with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, director of the Biomedical Innovation Lab and assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine Center for Space Medicine.

We also welcome your examples of how Star Trek — as either entertainment or inspiration — has impacted your life here in Greater Houston.

Also this hour:

New Center Dedicated to Precision Environmental Health

Things you were exposed to as child in the womb – or even things your parents were exposed to before you were even conceived – could play a role in your likelihood to develop certain diseases later in life. Studying those causes is the focus of a new center just opened last week (Aug. 29, 2016) at Baylor College of Medicine. It’s called the Center for Precision Environmental Health, and its new director, Dr. Cheryl Lyn Walker, joins us to discuss what the center hopes to learn.

Acres Homes Artist Housing Project

Acres Homes has been talked about as a place for revitalization for a while but typically within the context of preserving the historic African-American neighborhood. But now a different sort of development is planned in the enclave: high-end housing for artists. We discuss the concept, how Acres Homes residents are reacting to it, and what it may mean for the area with Houston Chronicle real estate reporter Nancy Sarnoff.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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