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SXSW 2021

A Star Trek Model for Space? How SciFi Impacts Law

Has the future already been explored in fiction? Does science fiction impact real world policy? Three experts in security, technology policy, and space law examine the Star Trek universe against America’s consistently shifting domestic space policies and existing international agreements. The panel will discuss the relevance of science fiction to law-makers generally, and dive into a comparative analysis of Star Trek to the real world. Discussion will range from access to space, to war in space, to government structures for regulating space, to the questions raised by the landmark television series, ultimately asking “are we as optimistic as Gene Roddenberry?”

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  1. Space law is a developed area of law, with a rich international history, but why do countries want laws in space?
  2. Is conflict in space inevitable and how do cultures explore those kinds of questions?
  3. Are government and industry professionals as optimistic as Gene Roddenberry? Are we heading towards the Star Fleet, or something else?



Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director of Technology, Security, and Space Law Initiatives, University of Nebraska

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