›SoCIA 2016: An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology
Many researchers who study the origins, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe (astrobiology) believe we are on the brink, within 20 to 30 years, of one of the most important discoveries in human history. If so, humanity will soon confront a series of complex challenges that cannot be resolved without strong input from disciplines beyond the sciences. Some of the questions in need of further exploration include:
• What is life?
• What are our ethical obligations to extraterrestrial life? To non-living features of extraterrestrial environments?
• How should we utilize space-based resources and/or colonize space, if at all?
• Are there truly universal principles (of biology, psychology, morality, etc.) that might apply to life elsewhere in the universe?
• What impact would the discovery of extraterrestrial life have on human society?
• Is astrobiology a science, a proto-science or a speculative enterprise?
• What can be learned from history concerning the challenges we will face and how best to address them? From literary portrayals?
The workshop is open to any researcher in any discipline interested in applying their expertise to these kinds of broad questions. For more information, visit: http://kcs098.wix.com/socia
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