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Doctors in space: medicine and tech in pop culture


The doctors in Star Trek embody some deep worries about future medicine and healthcare, a Brunel sociologist will tell audiences at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Brunel’s Dr Lesley Henderson and The Open University’s Dr Simon Carter delve into what science fiction says about how people see science and technology.

Doctors like Star Trek’s Leonard “Bones” McCoy and Battlestar Galactica’s Sherman Cottle raise tricky questions about race, torture and terror, they’ll explain.

“I’m really excited to be taking part in this unique event especially as The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s largest Arts festival,” said Dr Henderson (pictured).

“There is a huge public interest in stories of doctors and medicine in the media and this is a wonderful opportunity to share my research”.


Festival goers will hear the pair draw on their latest research to dissect how popular sci-fi characters emerge at specific crisis points for the medical profession. The part the media plays to establish and   challenge medical power is another talking point.

The public lecture draws on Dr Henderson’s recent papers in science journals about media storytelling. Her co-presenter, Dr Simon Carter, Head of Sociology at the Open University has written much about science, health and ‘the body’ and his latest book, Pathological Lives: Disease, Space and Biopolitics looks at biosecurity and health.

Doctors in Space starts at 7.50pm on Tuesday 22 August 2017 at The Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, Edinburgh. Find out more here.

Reported by:

Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations
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