Humanising Space

Perspective of Earth from space

Humanising Space

The entry of more countries and companies into outer space has brought to our attention the urgent need for scholarship on the human dimensions of space. The Space Park Institute, Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies, and CSSAH supports researchers who are exploring ancient understandings of the planets; oral histories of space research; the geopolitical, military, legal and policy dimensions of space; diversity and inclusion in space research; ‘space junk’ (defunct satellites and rocket bodies, tracking stations and construction sites); and the use of satellites to support archaeological surveys. Cultural work on literature, film, the visual arts, and media has the potential to alter our social and political understanding of space; anthropologists can study the ‘micro-societies’ created by astronauts to generate knowledge of sociability in space travel; international relations scholars examine the use of space technologies in security and foreign policies; law, economics, and politics tackle thorny issues of equitable sharing of the benefits and profits deriving from space activities; and geographers, physicists and arts practitioners collaborate to produce new creative commissions for enhancing public understanding and communication.

How, Leicester researchers ask, might new perspectives on 70 years of our shared Global Space Age impact approaches to the production and governance of Space technologies now? What can sociologists bring to our understanding of space inequalities? Can we produce quantitative models for benefit sharing? What is the impact of space technologies on international security? Can educationalists and media practitioners learn more about planetary instruments (for example) to underpin better space communications?

Posing and answering such questions allows us to pioneer work that humanises our understandings of space.

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