All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2021:

Planetopolis (January)

All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2020:

Stellar Engines (August)

Voyage to the Large Magellanic Cloud (July)

Why the Human Exploration of Space? (May)

Artificial Gravity for the Journey to Mars and Return (April)

Cruising in Space (March)

All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2019:

The Destiny of Civilisations – Fire, Iron and Gold (November)

The Destiny of Civilisations – A Problem for SETI (November)

The Holy Grail of Space (October)

Return to the Moon, 50 Years On (August)

The Case for Interstellar Flight (June)

SpaceX Dragon 2 Success (April)

Killing the Doomsday Fallacy (Feb.)

All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2018:

How Far Can We Take the Copernican Principle? (Dec.)

Dawkins and the McGraths: a Biologist versus two Theologians (Nov.)

The Atheism Question (Oct.)

The Religion Question (Sept.)

I, Starship (June)

All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2017:

Scenario Block Diagram Analysis of the Galactic Evolution of Life (Nov.)

Comments by Alex Tolley (Oct.)

Elon Musk’s “Great Martian” (Oct.)

Elon Musk’s Mars Plans: Highlights from His Second Iteration (Sept.)

What is a Supercivilisation? (Aug.)

Quantifying the Assumptions Behind the METI Debate (July)

Five Principles of a Sustainable Manned Mars Programme (June)

Pale Red Dot: Mars comes to Oxford (May)


Back to 2016:

Elon Musk and Mars: Looking for a Snowball Effect (Oct.)

New in 2020:

Download science fiction stories here


AE posts:

2021: New space company Planetopolis…

2020: Cruising in Space…

2019: The Doomsday Fallacy, SpaceX successes…

2018: I, Starship, atheism versus religion, the Copernican principle…

2017: Mars, Supercivilisations, METI…

2016: Stragegic goal for manned spaceflight…

2015: The Pluto Controversy, Mars, SETI…

2014: Skylon, the Great Space Debate, exponential growth, the Fermi “paradox”…

2013: Manned spaceflight, sustainability, the Singularity, Voyager 1, philosophy, ET…

2012: Bulgakov vs. Clarke, starships, the Doomsday Argument…

2011: Manned spaceflight, evolution, worldships, battle for the future…

2010: Views on progress, the Great Sociology Dust-Up…

Chronological index

Subject index


General essays:

Index to essaysincluding:

Talk presented to students at the International Space University, May 2016

Basic concepts of Astronautical Evolution

Options for Growth and Sustainability

Mars on the Interstellar Roadmap (2015)

The Great Sociology Debate (2011)

Building Selenopolis (2008)

Towards the Sociology of the Universe –

The Great Sociology Debate

* * *

Index

What does modern sociology have to say about human expansion into space, and how do those promoting spaceflight respond to this?

On 8 September 2010 the British Interplanetary Society in London hosted an evening lecture entitled “How should we humanise outer space?”. The presenters of that lecture, Peter Dickens and James S. Ormrod, are university lecturers in sociology, and have written a book on the subject: Cosmic Society: Towards a Sociology of the Universe (Routledge, 2007).

The resulting exchange of views was vigorous and heated. It became clear that two incompatible cultures were confronting each other. The following debate was one result:

  1. A Review of Dickens and Ormrod, Cosmic Society, by Stephen Ashworth, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society

  2. Towards the Sociology of a Universal Society, by Stephen Ashworth

  3. A Reply to the Above Review of Cosmic Society, by Dr James S. Ormrod, University of Brighton

  4. Provisional conclusions, by Stephen Ashworth

It is my hope that my posting of these strongly worded exchanges on the web will stimulate greater understanding of the issues involved!

S.A.