Science, Technology and the Social Impacts of Outer Space Development: A Pedagogical Approach to Sponsor Equality of Knowledge and Opportunity

By Edythe E. Weeks.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper puts out a call to visionary thinkers to help increase public awareness that outer space is in the process of being developed. It argues for inclusion of a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds, nations, professions and disciplines, and it suggests that this can be accomplished through education. Knowledge about outer space development can be provided to a broader range of people through Internet and other technological resources. This can enable more people to develop skill sets to meet the demands of newly emerging industries related to outer space development. It will also provide a unique pedagogical approach aimed at mending the knowledge gap. Otherwise we are likely to witness widening inequality gaps. The paper suggests introducing space studies to people through the allure of the social and behavioral sciences, and distinguished this proposal from STEMs efforts, which have consistently failed to be attractive for the vast majority of people. This paper contributes to the key themes of the 2010 Science in Society Conference by addressing the need to increase public awareness regarding outer space development. It also serves as a reminder that embedded inequality, feelings of subjugation, oppression and of being left out of important development projects tend to produce conflict, disgruntlement and eventually is likely to produce international conflict. Equal opportunity tends to bring peace. We must design a model towards peace as we develop the final frontier.

Keywords: Social Impacts, Outer Space Development, Outer Space, Colonization, Final Frontier, Outer Space Development, Space Law, Space Science and Technology

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.189-202. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 704.686KB).

Dr. Edythe E. Weeks

Adjunct Professor, History, Politics and International Relations, Webster University Worldwide, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Dr. Weeks teaches courses on Space Law, International Relations and Race and Ethnic Relations to students in various countries via online, and has presented papers on a variety of topics to experts within the space community. Weeks has published several papers in the Colloquium Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law, as well as with the American Institute on Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her research and dissertation entitled “The Politics of Space Law in a Post Cold War Era: Understanding International Regime Change”, helped to prompt the issuance of an important policy statement clarifying whether or not private property rights are permitted regarding outer space resources.