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NASA Honors William Shatner With Distinguished Public Service Medal 111

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Red Orbit reports that after nearly 50 years of warping across galaxies and saving the universe from a variety of alien threats and celestial disasters, Star Trek's William Shatner was honored with NASA's Distinguished Public Service medal, the highest award bestowed by the agency to non-government personnel. 'William Shatner has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today,' said David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 'He's most deserving of this prestigious award.' Past recipients of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory director and Voyager project scientist Edward Stone, theoretical physicist and astronomer Lyman Spitzer, and science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. The award is presented to those who 'have personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission. The contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of recognition would be inadequate.'"
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NASA Honors William Shatner With Distinguished Public Service Medal

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  • Re:INteresting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:54PM (#46862931)
    Meh. Kids nowadays think everything is solved by an inverting the deflector array and emitting a tachyon pulse. It did more harm that good.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:58PM (#46862981) Homepage

    NASA, doing what they do best - issuing press releases.

  • Re:INteresting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Monday April 28, 2014 @05:35PM (#46863289) Journal
  • Re:INteresting (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2014 @05:38PM (#46863313)

    I keep hearing this. I doubt it very much. I got interested in science by reading encyclopedias, taking radios apart, getting books on electronics. A TV show with a bunch of guys in polyester suits playing pretend didn't do anything to "inspire" me. It's a ridiculous notion and I realize it's part of the geek mythology now, but come on. It's horseshit.

    I mean, inspire me about the science of what? Phasers? Warp drive? Technobabble? You might as well say watching soap operas inspired you to get a girlfriend. It's ludicrous. People will are drawn towards what has always interested them.

  • James Doohan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by worf_mo ( 193770 ) on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:07PM (#46863549)

    Not to take anything away from Shatner but it was James Doohan (Scotty, for the whippersnappers out there) who inspired a lot of people to become engineers []. Shatner was more the alpha-male-chasing-the-girls type.

  • Re:Get a life... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <> on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:23PM (#46863695) Homepage

    ...I'm not a trekkie, but I can't forget when mr. Shatner told his fans to get a life [] ...yeah yeah...that's probably a humorous parody, but he really "killed" it for a lot of people back then. The no #1 rule of Hollywood is to always cherish your fans, never spit on them. He always told in interviews after that, that trekkies really don't have a life etc. You can find this here: []

    It was funny, because it is so true. The people he inspired are those that excelled in sciences and in school, not people who are so obsessed with belonging to the "community" that they have to go dress up and go to conventions. Bill inspired me to get my degree in Physics. And I also laugh at the so-called-fans who can quote lines from the show, but never understand or even care to understand the science underlying it.

  • by towermac ( 752159 ) on Monday April 28, 2014 @06:43PM (#46863837)

    But you know what? Kirk was the captain, so I guess he had to be first; hopefully they recognize Spock before he passes.

    Because he's the one that inspired me. Kirk was kinda like dad; he was cool, and I respected him; but I'm never gonna be him.

    Spock, I could be. (well if i tried really hard and put down the beer and weed and went back for those advanced math classes and wasn't so damned lazy...)

    Seriously, as a kid, it was Spock all the way.

  • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Monday April 28, 2014 @08:40PM (#46864531)

    SPOCK! duh!

    I haven't heard of Shatner doing anything besides acting alpha male in TV and some Movies. The creator/writer of Trek deserves far far more credit.

    Nimoy, has at least done voice overs for many TV shows that were real science shows over the decades. He also helped keep the movies going (not that the movies were inspirational... but they kept things alive before TNG got started up which may not have happened otherwise.)

    Scotty also deserves more than Shatner, for getting people to be engineers. He even has a term named after him which any wise engineer uses ("The Scotty Principle.") But perhaps that keeps NASA away from him (plus he is dead.)

    Although Nimoy's blessing on the disgraceful reboot... that shouldn't be overlooked; perhaps that cost him the honor? maybe it should?

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde