February 28, 2021

Space Force Should Embrace the Natural Inclusivity of Space Nerds

By Sarah Mineiro

The first black-white kiss on U.S. television occurred between Lt. Uhura and Captain Kirk, a controversial-for-1968 decision that reflected Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s broader philosophical commitment to addressing race in his science fiction. This bold approach to diversity and inclusion is a fundamental element of the self-selecting group of space nerds that comprise the Space Force. As the newest service branch finds its feet, it should embrace this ethos — a proven aid to recruitment, readiness, and mission success — as fundamental to its identity.

As the newest service branch finds its feet, it should embrace this ethos — a proven aid to recruitment, readiness, and mission success — as fundamental to its identity.

Much of science fiction, from Jules Verne to Nnedi Okorafor, is predicated on a broad definition of diversity and inclusion. To be a space nerd, you have to extend diversity and inclusion considerations beyond intrinsic human demographic metrics – otherness is not just about race, age, sex, religion, and sexual orientation. Otherness in outer space is about different life forms, fundamental communication abilities, and competing values. I have been warned against proselytizing about science fiction when discussing Space Force matters because the general public may misunderstand the intent. But as a community of space nerds, we should acknowledge that our calling to space-related pursuits may also provide us a foundational advantage.

Read the full article from Defense One.

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