Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space

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Product Details
$27.95  $25.99
MIT Press
Publish Date
6.22 X 9.06 X 1.1 inches | 1.27 pounds

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About the Author
Erika Nesvold, an astrophysicist, has worked as a researcher at NASA Goddard and the Carnegie Institution for Science. She is a developer for Universe Sandbox, a physics-based space simulator; cofounder of the nonprofit organization the JustSpace Alliance; and the creator and host of the podcast Making New Worlds.
"'What kind of world do we want our descendants in space to inhabit?' asks astrophysicist Nesvold in her thought-provoking debut. Expanding on her podcast, Making New Worlds, she ponders the ethics of space settlement...Nesvold's timely warning is bolstered by nuanced ethics and her careful attention to how colonization has historically been accompanied by injustice and violence. This raises hard questions that deserve serious consideration."
--Publishers Weekly

"Astrophysicist Nesvold (host of the podcast Making New Worlds) addresses a variety of questions about the ethical and social aspects of living and working in space. Many issues should be considered and defined before humans build settlements in space or attempt long-term Star Trek-type missions, where citizens of a near-utopian society work peaceably together and boldly venture into space to explore the galaxy. Expanding upon the information presented on her podcast, the author considers questions such as making outer space accessible to all and prioritizing human rights and ethics. She emphasizes the need for including humanities perspectives in the discussion, not just STEM-oriented ideas. Philosophers, anthropologists, and sociologists can provide insights into the "why" of space travel, whereas scientists and engineers tend to focus on the "how." As Nesvold suggests, government agencies and private companies need to spend more time thinking about how to build communities in space based on ethical considerations and cultural values. This well-researched and accessible book is for general readers or those interested in the philosophy of science or the ethics of space travel."
--Library Journal

"Off-Earth will amaze you: On nearly every page, it will have your jaw dropping in response to mind-blowing revelations. . . . Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space is really, really good."
--Ars Technica

"Imaginative and captivating, Erika Nesvold's Off-Earth poses vital, wide-ranging ethical questions about the future of human communities in outer space. . . . Brilliant and thought-provoking, Off-Earth will not only challenge your assumptions about future worlds, but will change your understanding of the values and desires that shape the world today."
--Foreword Reviews