Australia’s Future in Space: An Emerging Agenda for the Social Sciences
Space continues to be a new frontier for humankind, presenting significant opportunities for Social Scientists to apply their expertise. From sensemaking, to Indigenous astronomy, sustainability, industry, diplomacy and defence, this series of webinars examines the role for Social Scientists in Space. This is a timely series, given Australia’s ambitions to contribute to American efforts to return to the Moon in 2024, and as many Space faring nations look beyond, to Mars.
The 9-webinar series was convened by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in August 2021 through its Workshops Program. The series brought together experts and practitioners to discuss the implications and opportunities for the Social Sciences, and is open to Academy Fellows and the public.
Details and full video recordings of each session can be found by clicking the tiles below.
Background and overall context
With renewed interest in space, the social sciences have a bold role to play. This webinar series brought together social scientists, industrial partners, and commercial practitioners to discuss a range of issues that are already confronting Australia with a view to developing a community of interest amongst social scientists, and a program of research, that will take Australian scholarship forward in this rapidly expanding field.
These webinars explored how industry will develop, how the public will respond, who will benefit, and how Australia might gain. These conversations were framed around five themes:
(1) The nature of ‘Space Industry’, as emerging in both theory and practice, overseas and in Australia;
(2) The policy implications inherent in three aspects of Australia’s endeavours in space, being preparation for space activity, space exploration and living in space;
(3) Social perspectives on space;
(4) The making (and branding) of an Australian space community, with a focus, discipline, and professional framework;
(5) The educational opportunities that space industry presents for young Australians.