Home > Leadership Development Seminars > 2. Social science & culture seminar > Anthropological perspective on space exploration

Anthropological perspective on space exploration

Date:April 24,2015(Fri)16:30-18:00
Place:014 Lecture Room, IB Building
Speaker:Hiroaki Isobe(Associate professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability, Kyoto University)

Because of the expansion of human activities, space exploration is becoming a subject of not only science and technology but also humanities and social sciences. This is why Kyoto University organized a research group, the unit of synergetic studies for space (USSS), in order to promote the interdisciplinary approach to the humanity and social studies on space, such as space ethics and space anthropology.
After brief introduction of the activity in the USSS, I will focus on the anthropological aspects and discuss the long-run consequence of space exploration on humanity by referring the discussions by Lévi-Strauss, Hannah Arendt, Tadao Umesao and Freeman Dyson.
While the cosmopolitan attitude cultivated by the view of the Earth from space is generally regarded as a good outcome of the space exploration, it may also accelerate the cultural globalization in which the diversity of the human culture and thoughts decreases.
However, when groups of people start to settle outside the Earth, the impact on the whole human race will be reversed; the extraterrestrial settlement will be the source of cultural as well as biological diversity.
It may be regarded as a hope for the long-term survivability and development of human civilization, but whether it contributes to the well-being of the contemporary and foreseeable human beings is unclear.
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