How Will We Govern Ourselves in Space?
2:00 PM14:00

How Will We Govern Ourselves in Space?

A new golden age of space exploration is upon us, with growing numbers of countries and private enterprises eager to establish themselves in space for the sake of scientific inquiry, national prestige, adventurous tourism, billionaires’ bragging rights, mineral riches, and even as a hedge against any future calamity that might devastate our home planet.

Our motivations for exploration may vary, but the spaceward rush raises questions about how we will govern ourselves beyond Earth. Cold War-era space treaties, vague notions of how legal frameworks on Earth might migrate to settlements in space, and cautionary tales from both history and science fiction offer some guidance, but we could benefit from a larger conversation about how we want to govern them.

On July 10 at 2 p.m., Join Future Tense and the JustSpace Alliance at the New America office in Washington to consider how we might ensure that our “next frontier” is one that reflects our most humane and democratic values. Stick around after the event to continue the conversation with a happy hour reception. If you can’t make it to Washington, there’s good news: The event will also be livestreamed.

You can find the agenda below. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

2-2:45 p.m.: What Could Be Unsettling About New Settlements?

Russell Short
Contributing writer, New York Times Magazine
Author of The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America

Bina Venkataraman
Director, Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT
Future Tense fellow
Author of the forthcoming book The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age

Armstrong Wiggins
Washington, D.C., director, Indian Law Resource Center

Andrés Martinez
Editorial director, Future Tense

2:45-3:30 p.m.: Law & Order or Game of Thrones? The Legal Landscape of Space Exploration.

Amanda Nguyen
CEO and founder, Rise
Board member, JustSpace Alliance

Henry Hertzfeld
Director, Space Policy Institute
Professor of space policy & international affairs, the George Washington University

Yuliya Panfil
Director, New America Future of Property Rights Program

Erika Nesvold
Astrophysicist & developer, Universe Sandbox
Co-founder, JustSpace Alliance

3:30-4:15 p.m.: What Do Community and the Social Landscape Look Like in Space?

Craig Calhoun
Professor of social sciences, Arizona State University
Former director and president of the London School of Economics and Political Science
Author of Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream

Fred Scharmen
Associate professor, Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning
Author of Space Settlements

Alex MacDonald
Program executive for emerging space, NASA Office of the Chief Technologist

Lucianne Walkowicz
Astronomer, Adler Planetarium
Co-founder, JustSpace Alliance

4:15 p.m.: Reception

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Becoming Interplanetary
9:00 AM09:00

Becoming Interplanetary

On September 27, 2018, we will be hosting a public event at the Library of Congress Kluge Center, entitled "Becoming Interplanetary: What Living on Earth Can Teach Us about Living on Mars”.

Click here to view the detailed schedule!

The event will be a day of panels and performances, organized around three "beats".

The event will be held in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress from 9am-5pm on 9/27, with a reception to follow. Attendance is open to the public and no registration is required.

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Decolonizing Mars
to Jun 29

Decolonizing Mars

  • The Library of Congress (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Decolonizing Mars: An Unconference on Inclusion and Equity in Space Exploration” will bring together a diverse group of individuals working at the intersection of astrobiology, anthropology, social justice, and space exploration. The format of the event will feature discussion as its primary objective. While there will be time for brief presentations, a significant fraction of the program will be devoted to group discussion around pressing themes, which will be determined by the symposium participants themselves.

The term decolonization refers to undoing the legacy of colonialism. Many people are used to hearing about "colonizing Mars" to talk about humanity living in space; here, we examine how using a colonialist framework in space reproduces past harm from humanity's history on Earth. This event is about envisioning fresh pathways for thinking about space exploration by stepping away from the ways we usually talk about space, which by definition is "decolonizing" the topic. Hence, "Decolonizing Mars".

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