What happened when Star Trek was accused of inside knowledge?
Shortly after the original series began airing on television here in the United States in 1966, there were several scenes that played out in the shipís sick bay. When Gene was conceiving the Enterprise he said that, on this starship thatís going to travel to all of these different planetary system, sometimes people are going to get injured so the ship will need some kind of a sick bay.
Gene knew that technology was advancing, and if you wanted to get information quickly about the condition of one of your crew, you wouldnít want to have to stick a thermometer in their mouth and take their pulse. So he thought; 'Well, what if they laid down on a bed and there were sensors in the bed that could read all of their vital signs, and display them on a screen above the bed so that the doctor could see the basic condition of his patient.?'
There were some developments - ultrasound, CAT scans, that had not been invented in the 1960s. But I think it was pretty clear to anybody who really considered the way technology was evolving, that things like that would some day have to be invented. So Gene just decided; 'Well, letís put that in our sick bay.'
Several weeks after the show started airing, he got letters from three or four different medical research corporations saying; 'How did what we were planning to do? How did what we were trying to build in the next ten, twenty or thirty years?' And he said; 'I didnít.' He was just logically extrapolating from where we are today to what our needs would be in the future.