Patterns of Force - Star Trek The Original Series
While continuing my celebration of Star Trek, I thought I would go into an explanation of what I believe to be good science fiction.

Science isn't flashing lights or space ships.  Science is the actual study and application of said study.  In terms of oversimplification - this study can be of the "natural world" (as in nature and animals); of the "atomic world"; or of the "psychological world".

Patterns of Force is a prime example of behavioral science fiction.  This episode directly explores the applications of psychological study, how people behave, the reactions, conditions and consequences of certain forms of behavior tied into actual observed effects.  It isn't just a "nazi episode", anyone can write "nazi episodes".  This is an exploration of psychology, complete with hypothesis, testing and conclusion.

It is a goal that I believe all writers should aspire to accomplish - to properly express consequence with action, while maintaining the boundary lines of known and expected psychological behavior and traits.  I do a great deal of profiling when I write my books.  Each character has a profile.  To make sure that I understand how a character behaves, I have done a great deal of study in pathology and psychological profiling.  To me, a character hole is as bad as a plot hole.  At the same time, explaining every nuance to the reader robs them of their own path of discovery for the characters and the plot.

Science and the applications therein are everywhere, it's all in how its presented and handled by the author.