The Social Dimensions of the Permanent Human Settlement of Space

I’m patiently waiting for the week 4 of the Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life course, presented by Charles Cockell. Those who are with me in this course, you probably know that Prof. Cockell is a wonderful lecturer and a very enthusiastic person, not to mention that Cockell’s papers on political philosophy, applied to a possible future extraterrestrial setting, are classics.

So here’s something of a treat.

This year (13 & 14 June 2013) there will be a workshop about freedom in space, co-hosted by the British Interplanetary Society and the UK Centre for Astrobiology.

The question of how freedom will develop in space is one of the most compelling sociological questions in the long-term exploration and settlement of space. The main questions to be explored in this workshop are how freedom develops in space and what the policy implications might be. Topics to be addressed include: Liberty on planetary surfaces, the rule of law in space, the nature of democracy in space, land ownership and freedom in space, the nature of tyranny in space, the independence of space settlements and extraterrestrial constitutions.

The workshop is open to anyone interested in the social implications of space exploration and settlement. It will bring together scientists, policy makers, sociologists and political philosophers.

More details on the workshop and tickets are available here: Extraterrestrial Liberty: What is Freedom Beyond the Earth?

Update: June 17, 2013

Here’s a short write up of the event.

Extra-Terrestrial Liberty an Enquiry Into the Nature and Causes of Tyrannical Government Beyond the Earth, a book by Charles Cockell is now available in paperback at Amazon.


As humanity expands its presence into space and ultimately settles beyond earth permanently, what freedoms can people expect? On the one hand space offers an escape from the traditions and entrenched patterns on Earth. On the other hand, how can you be free when the air you breathe comes from a manufacturing process controlled by someone else? In four essays, Charles Cockell explores the nature of extra-terrestrial liberty, one of the most pressing discussions in the future of political philosophy. Charles Cockell is Professor of Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh. He has previously worked at the British Antarctic Survey and NASA and is Director of the UK Centre for Astrobiology.

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.

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