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Thursday, October 18 • 9:30am - 9:50am
The space commons versus the clever use of flags (and corporate logos)

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By all accounts, space exploration is undergoing a new phase. Plans are being made for the most ambitious space projects since the Apollo era. Space exploration, tourism, privatisation, colonisation, are back on the table. Government agencies and private companies vie for achievements to exceed those of past space races. As speculation and utopia ramp up, new questions arise as to the social and ethical dimensions of this new effort.
This talk addresses the matter of space as commons, that is, as something to be shared and managed in a participatory and equitable manner. Past treaties presented space as a common heritage of humankind, but geostrategic concerns often superseded that notion, and national flags unfurled in the vacuum. Under what conditions can space exploration be inclusive, as this Symposium proposes? How can resources be ethically allocated, in light of the technological and resource limitations on Earth? To whom would new findings? What notion of “common good” should we apply?
A famous article by G. Hardin in 1968 discussed “the tragedy of the commons” on Earth, pointing out that resources are prone to be abused in systems of common property. Private management would be preferable and more attractive as resources become scarce. Elinor Ostrom, in contrast, found that traditional management of the commons often achieves durable sustainability. This talk addresses that debate and places it in the cosmos.

avatar for Dr. Artur de Matos Alves

Dr. Artur de Matos Alves

Assistant Professor, TELUQ, Université du Québec
Artur de Matos Alves is Assistant Professor at TELUQ, Université du Québec. His main interests revolve around philosophy and ethics of technology, emerging technologies, and communication.

Thursday October 18, 2018 9:30am - 9:50am EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1
  Social Sciences, Ethics