Star Trek is one of the oldest Science Fiction series, not to mention probably one of the most lengthly, with 10 movies, and 5 different Series, it is by far the greatest, and of course has the most material, and information of the Star Trek universe.
Star Trek has it's own Encyclopedia (which I have by the way), and many Technical Manuals including "Scotty's Guide to the Enterprise" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation, Technical Manual" (this last one I also have). This really shows how much detail has gone into creating the Star Trek universe, which makes it a huge value to Science Fiction in general.
Star Trek by far was NOT the first Science Fiction show, and even was not very celebrated by fans. In fact, when Star Trek first aired on TV in 1969, very few people watched it, or even knew it existed, because it was on at a very inconvenient time (most likely in the middle of the night when no one was up, although I can not confirm this fact). However Star Trek did face a very interesting path which allowed for it's resurrection.
When Star Trek began being shown as re-runs on TV, the re-runs were shown at a more convenient time, when people were home, watching TV. And when this happened, many people began watching it, and even loving the show. A fan base started and people began wondering what had happened to Star Trek, and why it had not continued.
Where was the rest of Star Trek? People began to want more. The fans banned together, and eventually, the TV station and Gene Roddenberry began to work together to create more Star Trek. They decided to create a movie "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".
Many of us Trekkies know that every movie that the people of Star Trek created, they thought would be the last, and yet, instead of ending them, they made one movie after the next. This was the beginning of the Star Trek craze that we now know of today.
Now, you can go to Star Trek conventions which have their own "atmosphere". People come dressed as their favorite Star Trek character. Some even make their own costumes from scratch. This shows just how dedicated they are to not only the genre itself, but the morals and ethical aspects taught in Star Trek, such as the "Prime Directive" which tells us not to interfere in the natural development of a race.
This Prime Directive is probably one of the most important ethical debates talked extensively in Star Trek, and even among many people today. One of the biggest issues today being whether or not we should be in Iraq or other countries spreading our beliefs and making people become "Americanized". The Prime Directive was even one of the things considered when creating the United Nations, when trying to figure out how much power the UN should have over all the Nations in the world.