Session 2. Australia: First in Space, Lessons from Aboriginal Astronomy
Australia’s First Nations are widely held to have been the world’s first astronomers. In their history and experience, we find many reasons for better understanding their observations and the purposes of their astronomical knowledge, which both challenge and confirm basic assumptions of Western science. In this history, and in a growing understanding and respect for these traditions, we also find important new possibilities of collaboration and enterprise, and ways of thinking about Space.
This session invited discussion on a range of issues. How do we recognise and draw upon First Nations heritage in our conversations about Space? How do we ensure that Indigenous Australian people benefits from emerging Space industries? What can First Nations traditions, ideas and ethical systems contribute to living respectfully with each other and with Nature in Space?
In their contributions, Ghillar Anderson detailed ancient First Nations stories of astronomical events; Philip Clarke explained Indigenous Australian concepts of time and space and the dynamic nature of Indigenous mythologies; and Ray Norris explored Indigenous Australian peoples’ contributions to our understanding of planetary motion, tides, seasons, and eclipses. Together, they argued the importance of recognising the depth of Indigenous Australian learning about the past, as we move into the interplanetary future.
Moderator: Adjunct Associate Prof. Roslynn Haynes, UNSW
- Michael Ghillar Anderson
- Dr Philip Clarke, Griffith University and SA Museum
- Professor Ray Norris UWS and CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science