Geek Trivia

Actor James Doohan Was Awarded An Honorary Degree In?

Astrophysics
Biology
Linguistics
Engineering
The First Commercial Filmed In Space Pitched What Product?

Answer: Engineering

If you’re a fan of Star Trek, then today’s trivia question is probably a softball pitch for you. The actor James Doohan is best known as the endearing and very recognizable Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. While Kirk, Spock, and McCoy might have been the figureheads of the show and the leaders of the ship, Doohan’s portrayal of Scotty was one of the most iconic elements of the show, and his role is fondly remembered by fans decades later.

What you may not have known, however, was that Doohan’s portrayal of the Chief Engineer inspired thousands of Star Trek fans to pursue degrees in science and engineering. In fact, when the Milwaukee School of Engineering surveyed their students in 2000, half of them cited Doohan as their inspiration for becoming an engineering student. While actors inspiring young people to pursue the career path the actor portrays isn’t a new thing, it’s rather remarkable when you think about the fact that many of the students surveyed were born decades after Star Trek went off the air and were elementary and middle school students when Doohan last portrayed Scotty in the Star Trek franchise (1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, 1992’s Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Relics”, and 1994’s Star Trek: Generations).

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Milwaukee School of Engineering awarded James Doohan an honorary degree shortly thereafter for his role in inspiring generations of young people to pursue engineering.