University of Leicester champions role of humanities in space sector

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A pioneering series of seminars showcasing humanities, social science and arts research within the space sector will be hosted by the University of Leicester.

Humanising Space will feature leading voices from across the space industry and academia to discuss how humanities can offer new perspectives on 70 years of a global space age.

The seminar series will show how students outside of the sciences can aim for a career in the space sector and how humanities, social science and arts research can contribute to the space industry.

The lecture series will launch on Wednesday 25 October with guest speaker, Ralph “Dinz” Dinsley, RAF Veteran and Space Surveillance and Space Situational Awareness specialist.

Dinz is the founder and managing director of 3S Northumbria Ltd. He aims to provide sustainable space solutions to both the UK and internationally. He is also working to bring more space skills and experience to the North East of England.

Future speakers in the Humanising Space seminar series include:

  • Professor Henrietta O’Connor, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for University of Leicester
  • Janet de Vigne, University of Edinburgh
  • Craig Brown, Investment Director at the UK Space Agency
  • Ellen Stofan, The Smithsonian – formerly Chief Scientist at NASA

Academic leads from the University of Leicester for the series are Dr Bleddyn Bowen, Associate Professor of International Relations and Dr Rossana Deplano, Associate Professor of Law.

Dr Bowen and Dr Deplano said: “The Humanising Space project is a step change in academic engagement with space.

“Truly collaborative in nature, it brings together the social sciences, arts and humanities, at the same time driving conversations with STEM disciplines at a time when more countries and companies are active in space than ever before.

“This makes Leicester a unique arena for critical inquiry on space and a contributor to the UK's ambition of being a major player in outer space.”

Professor Teela Sanders, Dean for Research and Enterprise for the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at University of Leicester: “We have been working behind the scenes for several years to develop our humanising space theme and now we are pleased we have experts from across the globe and industry to launch our first space seminar series.

“Here we are pioneering a truly multi-disciplinary approach to understanding more about how the impact of explorations in space affect society.”