“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".