UK Centre for Astrobiology

Astrobiology and Human Society

This theme broadly encompasses projects and work that has linked astrobiology to questions that intersect with human governance beyond Earth and philosophy.

This themeĀ applies astrobiology to social questions, such as the goverance of human society beyond Earth.

For example, theĀ UKCA has led workshops focusing on the human exploration of space and the links with philosophy. From 2013 to 2015 it organised three workshops in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society considering the conditions for liberty beyond Earth. Can you be free in an environment where the oxygen you breathe is manufactured and controlled by someone else? These workshops sought to advance the field of political philosophy into extraterrestrial liberty. These workshops led to three volumes of essays published by Springer as part of its Space and Society Series.

The three books are:

The Meaning of Liberty Beyond Earth

Human Govenance Beyond Earth - Implications for Freedom

Dissent, Revolution and Liberty Beyond Earth

In 2021, the Centre hosted a four day meeting on the subject of 'The Institutions of Extraterrestrial Liberty', which considered the conditions for freedom beyond Earth. The meeting has resulted in a 30-chapter multi-author volume by the same title which will be published in 2022 by Oxford University Press.

The UKCA is generally interested in engaging in collaborations and discussions at the interface between astrobiology and philosophy and particularly in political philosophy which deals with the problems of the human exploration of space.