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The Nanoethics Group to Speak at Int'l Space Development Conference
Santa Barbara, CA | Posted on April 24, 2006
The Nanoethics Group today announced
that it has been invited to speak at the 25th annual International Space
Development Conference (ISDC), held in Los Angeles from May 4-7, 2006.
Because nanotechnology will provide lighter materials, more efficient energy
sources, greater computing power and other capabilities, it will enable
greater space travel which raises a unique set of ethical and social
Co-hosted by The National Space Society and The Planetary Society as well as
sponsored by NASA and others, ISDC 2006 is the largest space advocacy
conference, with hundreds of presentations, interactive exhibits and other
activities. ISDC 2006 covers the spectrum of space-related issues -
including exploration, tourism, science, technology, policy and commerce -
and boasts a full roster of prominent speakers and guests, such as:
legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Virgin Galactic's founder Sir Richard
Branson, first space tourist Dennis Tito and other industry and academic
leaders as well as Hollywood celebrities.
Patrick Lin, Ph.D., research director for The Nanoethics Group, will present
his paper "Space Ethics: Look Before Taking Another Leap for Mankind" that
seeks to balance the exuberant race to develop space commercially with
reflective questions about its ethics, beyond the usual issues involving
environmental, safety and other concerns. Specifically, if space tourism
and development are truly on our horizon, then we stand before a rare
opportunity to build a new society in space. But just as we would not rush
into developing, for example, Antarctica without planning ahead on issues
such as property rights and local government, the same responsibility to
think ahead also exists in space development.
The paper also raises a number of related questions such as: What would be
a fair process for commercializing or claiming property in space (as opposed
to a chaotic land-grab similar to that with domain names in cyberspace)?
How likely would a separatist movement be among settlements who want to be
free from their mother nations on Earth? Are reasons such as for adventure,
wanderlust or "backing up the biosphere" good enough to justify our
exploration of space?
Dr. Lin stated, "We are honored to be a part of this international
conference, and our presentation shows that nanoethics converges with many
areas of society, including space development. We hope to share insights on
'the bigger picture': instead of thinking of our space efforts as a string
of launches and projects, this really represents our first steps into
building a new world, much like English colonialism was more than merely
sending boats to America."
For more information, click here.
Dr. Lin's paper may be accessed here.
About The Nanoethics Group:
The Nanoethics Group is a non-partisan and independent research organization
formed to study nanotechnology's impact on society and related ethical
issues. As professional ethicists, we help to identify and evaluate
possible harms and conflicts as well as to bring balance and common sense to
the debate. Our mission is to educate and advise both organizations and the
broader public on these issues as a foundation to guide policy and
For more information, please click here.
Patrick Lin, Ph.D.
The Nanoethics Group
Copyright © The Nanoethics Group
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