The PoliBlog

The Collective
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
By Dr. Steven Taylor

And no, this is not an autobiographical post…

Via the The Age: Star Trek’s a thesis

It’s the PhD thesis that boldly goes where no thesis has gone before. Djoymi Baker watched 700 episodes - 624 hours without ads - of Star Trek and its spin-offs, dating from 1966 to 2023, in the name of research.


It may sound like torture for those with an aversion to William Shatner’s campy theatrics but, six years and 90,000 words on, it has earned Dr Baker a coveted chancellor’s prize for excellence at Melbourne University. And the respect of academics and Trekkies alike.Wow

–and I had to move to another continent to do my dissertation research.  Clearly, I picked the wrong field…

h/t:  Reader Ratoe via e-mail

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Filed under: Academia, Trek | |


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    1. I had a similar reaction to “A Place on the Corner” by Elijah Anderson — the guy just went to a bar every night for three years and wrote his dissertation on bar patrons’ social norms. Pure genius.

      Comment by Leopold Stotch — Tuesday, August 29, 2023 @ 3:41 pm

    2. Ah, yes, but I was a genius early. Every junior in my high school was required to do a term paper on a literary figure. I asked my teacher (hi, Ms. Paulk!) if I could do mine on Gary Trudeau. She allowed that I could, and I spent the semester reading Doonesbury whilst my classmates were reading Thoreau and Hemmingway and so forth. Got an “A” to boot. ‘Course, now I can barely stand to read Doonesbury, but back in high school I was sufficiently ignorant to enjoy it.

      Comment by Scott Gosnell — Tuesday, August 29, 2023 @ 4:53 pm

    3. I can just imagine you kicking yourself for not thinking of that yourself. It could certainly have a political science angle.

      Comment by Jan — Tuesday, August 29, 2023 @ 10:05 pm

    4. […] The Sultan over at Poliblog posted yesterday about a PhD candidate who did his thesis on Star Trek. 624 hours of episodes. […]

      Pingback by Pros and Cons » My High School Genius — Wednesday, August 30, 2023 @ 8:40 am

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