We are excited to announce the Space Futures Initiative, which has a mission of conducting research, promoting education, and engaging in outreach to improve the long-term future in outer space.
We believe sharing longtermist ideas within the space community and researching scalable space governance frameworks are currently neglected areas. Conducting these activities requires engagement and input from the longtermist community, space policy community, space industry, scientific community, and beyond. The Space Futures Initiative aims to bring together students and academic researchers, produce valuable long-term space futures research, and collaborate with key stakeholders to discuss positive long-term space futures that benefit all of humanity.
Our initial activities include the following:
- Developing an initial research agenda and publishing research papers to promote the discussion and sharing of ideas about space futures
- Creating discussion groups and student research opportunities at Harvard and MIT on space governance and space futures
- Supporting academic research projects related to space technologies, space governance, and space ethics
The ongoing proliferation of space activities has outpaced our ability to develop appropriate norms and governance structures for a sustainable future in outer space. Furthermore, emerging technologies might radically transform our long-term trajectory in space. As a result, right now is a crucial time to consider what positive outcomes in outer space look like.
The Space Futures Initiative is intended to be a collaboration among effective altruists, longtermists, astrophysicists, engineers, legal scholars, social scientists, philosophers, and others interested in long-term space futures. While our primary focus is conducting and disseminating research, we also interface with key stakeholders in dialogue on outer space, including the commercial sector and advocacy organizations.
We are appreciative of our early supporters and excited about further collaboration with organizations including the Center for Space Governance and Simon Institute for Longterm Governance. Our directors are Madeleine Chang, Carson Ezell, and Olaf Willner.
We are also excited to collaborate with more organizations and individuals interested in our mission. The following are specific ways in which you may be able to provide support or get involved:
- Send us an academic research proposal related to space futures that you would be interested in pursuing further, or express interest in conducting research with us
- Forward the above interest form to people who might be interested
- Reach out if your organization is interested in collaboration
- Connect us with researchers who can contribute to answering questions on our research agenda within other programs (e.g. CERI, SERI, CHERI, etc.) or think tanks (SWF, CSET, CSIS, Open Lunar, etc.)
- Let us know that you are willing to mentor an undergraduate or graduate student on a space governance/space futures research project
- Express interest in hosting a space governance discussion group within your university or local EA group, using our upcoming curriculum or other space futures related materials
- Send us ideas for new considerations within space futures that might merit further research, or criticisms of priorities within our current research agenda