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Space Renaissance Initiative- First International Congress

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:24 am via: Stephanie Lynne Thorburn
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News feature researched by Stephanie Lynne Thorburn.

The Space Renaissance Initiative (SRI) is a diverse working group of astro-humanists attracting both academic and corporate interest, with an agenda aimed at improvements in scientific education, space exploration, cultural development and the establishment of humanitarian goals such as global peace. The SRI is best characterized as an ambitious and pragmatic volunteer association, now comprising some 90 space-related organizations including the Moon Society (USA), Advanced Technology Working Group (USA), Space Future (UK, Japan), and Technologies of the Frontier, (Italy). Space Renaissance recently became incorporated as Space Renaissance International prior to the organisation’s first international Congress in June 2011.

A Social History of the SRI.

Essentially the SRI’s diverse epistemological roots can be traced back to the cultural evolution of the Renaissance in the 1500s towards the subsequent Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The SRI cites influential writings of Descartes and constitutional thinkers Voltaire and Jefferson as important landmarks that inform their own egalitarian principles. The philosophies of the nascent Space Renaissance Initiative represent a radical departure from conventional approaches to a diversity of contemporary ecological and economic issues characterizing the current post modern political agenda.

The Space Renaissance forwards and ‘open world’ view that aims at extending our physical and philosophical limitations as a civilization. Space travel, space development and the utilization of monetary and human investment in space are advocated to secure the realisation of a ‘new Renaissance’. Avant-garde scientific theorists drawn upon by the SRI include Prof. Gerard O’Neill, Tsiolkovsky and Ehriche in the formation of the concept of ‘Astronautic Humanism’ a philosophical perspective that places inherent value on progress in science and technology as significant components in the creation of a transformational unifying vision applicable to the modern world. ‘Astro-humanism’ focuses on the importance of human life and is essentially a post-Copernican concept defined by Bernasconi (1998) in the Greater Earth Manifesto, as based on a “scientific view of the Universe” that is fundamentally a “system-oriented evolutionary approach.” The SRI’s humanistic tendencies are articulated further through an altruistic faith in the wisdom of both human intelligence and new technological developments to facilitate better living conditions here on Earth and ultimately within the Solar System. This form of ‘New-Humanism’ is therefore expansionist, exo-sociologic, exo-economic and exo-ethical.

‘The Astrosociological Imagination’
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In ‘The Astrosociological Imagination and the Space Renaissance Initiative’ freelance writer and academic researcher Stephanie Lynne Thorburn has addressed key elements of the SRI manifesto and discourse in relation to modern environmental political theory. The above text is a précis summary of her first paper as published to Los Angeles Chronicle, November 2010 and developed as source material for the SRI’s summer 2011 Congress. Thorburn’s dissertation highlights the role of the Space Renaissance Initiative in challenging our thinking with respect to human scientific, technological evolution and links the SRI’s work to both environmental and socio-cultural developmental issues. In particular, the dissertation addresses questions of rationalization as posed by the work of social theorist Max Weber and is focused on the emerging domain of Socioastronomy.

Fundamentally the Space Renaissance equates the question of humanity’s uncertain future to a need for further research on the possibilities of deep-space living and colonization, space-based power, lunar astronomic observatories and a decrease in our inherent vulnerability to natural disasters. The concept of sustainable space industrialization and international space investment funds are also pertinent to the SRI’s agenda. In a recent series of strategic theses papers, ‘Three Theses for the Space Renaissance’, (2011) authored by SRI President Adriano Autino, Collins and Cavallo, the organization has illustrated the necessity of diverse outreach work to identify sincere astro-humanists within creative media spheres such as actors, musicians, writers and movie directors in addition to humanitarian and scientific organizations to reach their strategic goals between 2011 and 2015. Without a doubt, the SRI represents a potent aggregation of intellectual, business minded protagonists, utilizing a unified vision to ignite the global space economy and transform the parameters of our current physical and philosophical limitations for future generations.

The Space Renaissance first International Congress is scheduled for two weekends: 25th- 26th June and 2nd- 3rd July, and will be accessible on Skype.

Related links:
Space Renaissance International homepage:
http://www.spacerenaissance.org/

Socioastronomy resource site, (supporting SRI related research by Stephanie Lynne Thorburn):
http://www.socioastronomy.webs.com

Summary of the strategic theses and goals of the Space Renaissance 2011-2015:
http://www.spacerenaissance.org/SRIC/SRIC_Issue_I_the_SRI_program_2011_2015.doc

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