Paul Stamets with actor Anthony Rapp, who portrays Lt. Paul Stamets.
Paul Stamets is the Owner and Chief Science Officer of Fungi Perfecti®, and the developer of the Host Defense® mushroom-based dietary supplement line. Now he’s also a main character on a Star Trek series. Seriously?! Yes, Paul is the inspiration for a character by the same name, Lieutenant Paul Stamets, on the new Star Trek series—Star Trek: Discovery. The character, Lieutenant Stamets, is an AstroMycologist who utilizes mushroom mycelium and the study of mushrooms (aka Mycology) as the Starfleet Science Officer.
Star Trek has used real people to inspire character names in the past. For example, Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s name was based on the Swiss physicist and explorer Auguste Piccard. But, using the person’s exact name and their profession, as in this case, is unique.
The real Paul Stamets summed up the significance this way, “We have affectionately called our company StarShip FP for decades. Being a Star Trek fan since I was a kid, this is a huge honor! Mostly, I am proud that the field of Mycology will become front and center in the imaginations of young people. I hope Star Trek: Discovery will herald in new generations of mycologists for decades.”
“Mycology is under-funded, under-utilized, and has not been recognized by thought leaders for the critical roles that fungal networks (mycelium) fulfill in helping habitats, protecting biodiversity, and steering sustainability. A new epoch is emerging as we explore the Mycoverse.”
For years, Paul and Fungi Perfecti® have pushed the envelope of mycological research and discovery. From bioremediation to human health and a sustainable food supply, the attention towards Mycology has increased over the years with help from both Fungi Perfecti® and the support of the Natural Health community. However, this Star Trek series now brings Mycology into the mainstream in a significant way. It will support the recognition of fungi as catalysts for a healthier planet with healthier people!
If you would like to watch the new Star Trek series and see how mushroom mycelium are used in space, the series streams on CBS’s streaming service CBS All Access. They offer a 7-day FREE trial if you’d like to check out the episodes from season one!