De Lancie Praises Star Trek's Blend of Fact and Fiction

By Michelle
March 22, 2007 - 11:23 PM

If there is ever a fire at John de Lancie's house, the first thing the Q actor would save is his laptop, he said in an interview about how science fiction and science fact are drawing closer.

Australia's IT News quoted de Lancie - a proud Mac owner - from his keynote address at the InfoSec World Conference in Orlando this week, where the actor noted that "science fiction is a place where people can talk about things...writers sit down and, say, come up with a way to get from one place to another. What tool is it that they need? And then they invent a tool that does not yet live in the physical world."

Many childhood fans of Star Trek have grown up to become IT professionals, said de Lancie, who grew up reading Jules Verne and other classic science fiction writers. "They knew things and they knew how to use things and they made things better for themselves." Now there are inventors of technology who "have the tools to make it happen...that's science fiction becoming science fact. It invites people to think outside the box."

While entertainment like the virtual world Second Life is reminiscent of the Enterprise's holodeck, de Lancie said that personally he is more interested in such technological developments to make people healthier and happier. "What interests me is less of its gaming capabilities and more that they are using a version of that technology to get people to, say, relax when they're afraid to fly," he explained. "They're using it in psychiatric hospitals to create an environment you're most fearful of in a safe and controlled away. That's where I go, 'Oh, that's just fantastic.' "

Though there are now cell phones that resemble Star Trek's communicators and even a rudimentary cloaking device, de Lancie believes the Star Trek gadget that would be most useful in our world is the hand-held medical scanner that always gives a correct diagnosis. "That would be great, obviously," he said, adding, "Of course, I'd also like to beam back and forth so I could skip L.A. traffic."

The full interview is here.

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