Aug 20, 2007

ISU: Space solutions to Earth´s global challenges

Our 12th Annual Symposium in early 2008, proclaimed
by the United Nations as The International
Year of Planet Earth, will emphasize the benefits of the
space program for society. This time we are asking the
question ‘How can space address Earth’s global challenges
in the 21st century?’

Estimated Article Reading Time: 3 min.

The next (12th) Annual Symposium to be organized by International Space University (ISU) will be held in Strasbourg, France from 20 to 22 February 2008 with the title “Space Solutions to Earth’s Global Challenges”. The Call for Papers, issued in late July 2007, indicates how the event is structured and describes the six half-day sessions:

1. Where Are We Now?
2. Looking Earthward
3. Moving Outward
4. Using Space Technology ’Back Home’ on our Toughest Challenges
5. Cleaning Up Our Own Act – ’Green Space’
6. Where Do We Go from Here?

The program will include invited contributions from leading experts plus presentations and posters selected on the basis of abstracts submitted in response to the Call for Papers by the deadline of 5th October 2007. For further details, visit ISU Symposium website

Scope of the Symposium
In each academic year the International Space University
(ISU) organizes a three-day symposium at its
Central Campus in Strasbourg on a topical theme. Our
previous symposia have addressed subjects as diverse
as commercialization of the International Space Station,
small satellite design and applications, and future
navigation systems. At our 10th Annual Symposium in
late 2005, we posed the set of questions ‘Space Exploration:
Who, What, When, Where, Why?’ since exploration
of the solar system had become, by then, the most
exciting topic on the space agenda. Building on the
success of that event, our most recent symposium in
early 2007 took the title ‘Why the Moon?’ and focused
attention on our nearest neighbor recognizing the central
role it occupies in the program plans of the main
space-faring nations.
Our 12th Annual Symposium in early 2008, proclaimed
by the United Nations as The International
Year of Planet Earth, will emphasize the benefits of the
space program for society. This time we are asking the
question ‘How can space address Earth’s global challenges
in the 21st century?’. In this context ‘space’ can
be interpreted in a wide sense encompassing observations
of our home planet and more distant worlds by
human and robotic missions as well as the technologies
developed in support of these programs.
As for Earth’s global challenges, we think first of areas
where knowledge and technology gained from space are
most directly transferable in addressing issues such as
climate change and environmental degradation, or impending
energy crises and resource depletion. But there
are many other potential problems facing our planet,
even threatening the very survival of our civilization, if
we look at the darker prophecies of scientists such as
Lord Rees (‘Our Final Century’) or James Lovelock (‘The
Revenge of Gaia’). On the other hand, a more positive
view of our future prospects can be found in recent
books by William Burroughs (‘The Survival Imperative:
Using Space to Protect Earth’) and by Charles Cockell
(‘Space on Earth: Saving our World by Seeking Others’).
Professor Cockell, himself an alumnus of ISU’s Summer
Session Program, makes the point that “Many environmentalists
think going into space detracts from
solving problems here on Earth. Many astrophysicists
feel environmentalism hampers their exploration and
settlement of space. Actually environmentalism and
space exploration have one and the same objective: to
ensure humanity has a home”. He calls for a fusion of the
two movements as the only way forward – and it is that
theme that we want to explore at our 12th Annual Symposium.
Our objective is to attract members of both the
environmental and space communities which, though
sometimes seen as being at cross purposes, may well offer
different yet complementary solutions to global challenges
that we all face.
Participants will include members of agencies, industry
and academia, plus enthusiasts and students
with interests in space activities, in global problems of
Earth’s environment, energy and resources, and especially
the links among them.

Source ISU

ISU_ CFP.pdf