Society Track: Dr. Vickie Edwards

Society Track: Vickie Edwards, Western Michigan University, Public Administration: "To Govern Boldly Where No One Has Governed Before"

Science fiction television has a special place in the hearts of many space geeks, with aspirational ideas about futuristic societies and the wonders that await amidst the stars. While the idea of being a starship captain often conjures ideas of seeking out new life and new civilizations, the stories we see on the small screen frequently remind us that governments and societies face common challenges, no matter the star system or species. These shows afford us with an opportunity to explore complex issues of governance in a safe, allegorical space, and can provide insight into leadership and contemporary social values. This presentation will examine how fictional television like Star Trek, Doctor Who, and The Orville can inform public servants about public policy and culture (terrestrial or otherwise) in an ever-changing universe, and how its stories and characters can provide valuable lessons for leaders in public service.