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HOW CAN PHILOSOPHY HELP NASA EXPLORE THE COSMOS?, June 6, 2024, virtual, 2:30-3:30 pm ET

ISSUES in Science and Technology, a quarterly publication of the National Academy of Sciences and Arizona State University, will hold a webinar on June 6, 2024 from 2:30-3:30 pm ET on “How Can Philosophy Help NASA Explore the Cosmos?”

More information is on the event’s website, which says:

After the success of the Apollo missions in landing men on the moon more than 50 years ago, humans have not left low Earth orbit. Changing political directives, myriad technical options, and limited budgets have left NASA struggling to articulate and achieve a coherent strategy for human deep space missions. 

In a recent essay for IssuesG. Ryan Faith notes that many of the larger dilemmas that NASA grapples with are as philosophical as they are practical: “Why go to the expense and danger of sending humans into space at all, rather than working with robots? Is there an inherent value to human presence in space? And if so, what is it? Is the scientific benefit commensurate with the added cost and risk?” Faith calls on the space agency to engage more deeply with questions of values and purpose. “NASA needs to embrace philosophy,” he argues, “so that it can better explain what it is doing and why to the public and itself.”

On Thursday, June 6, at 2:30 PM ET, join G. Ryan FaithDaniel E. HastingsTony MilliganErica Rodgers, and Marcia Smith to discuss how philosophy can help NASA consider humanity’s future in space and develop its vision for exploring the cosmos.

Participants are:


June 6
2:30 pm - 11:00 pm