Starship Century Symposium at UCSD

Starship CenturyThe prospects for returning to the Moon are discouraging and the cost of visiting Mars is out of sight. What should a space fan do? Dream bigger!

Several top scientists and hard sf writers who have devoted their careers to big dreams will participate in the Starship Century Symposium, hosted by the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination on May 21-22 in collaboration with Gregory and James Benford. Speeches and panels will present ideas from the Benfords’ new Starship Century anthology of science and science fiction.

Four questions will drive the discussion –

Is this the century we begin to build starships?
Why go to the Stars?
Can we?
Should We?

The vision of a 100 year program to create a starship will be explored – from the development of an interplanetary economic infrastructure, to the structural requirements, the human factors and speculations on what we might find.

The challenges and opportunities for humanity’s long-term future in space will be addressed by the Benford brothers, Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, Peter Schwartz, John Cramer, Robert Zubrin and more. Science fiction authors Neal Stephenson, Allen Steele, Joe Haldeman, Geoffrey Landis and David Brin will be among the writers discussing what effect these explorations might have upon individuals and civilization as a whole.

The full agenda is here. Two of the highlights will be —  

Tuesday, May 21

Panel: The Future Of New Space

Freeman Dyson
Neal Stephenson
Allen Steele
Geoffrey Landis

Wednesday, May 22

Fiction Writers Panel: Envisioning The Starship Era

moderated by Gregory Benford

Joe Haldeman
David Brin
Larry Niven
Vernor Vinge
Jon Lomberg

[Thanks to Gregory Benford for the story.]

7 thoughts on “Starship Century Symposium at UCSD

  1. Mike: I hate to be a spelling nerd but isn’t NEAL Stephenson going to be on this panel? Martin

  2. His name is spelled correctly earlier in the online Agenda — looks like I lost the coin-flip… Thanks for the assist.

  3. Thanks for the post Mike! Follow us on Twitter @starshipcentury or on FB / G+ for more info. If you can’t attend, we’ll be posting video at some point as well. ~Jg

  4. I expect that by the time this 100 year program came to a close, we would either have found much better ways, sooner, or have proved it impossible. I *hate* these Analog-like booster movements. “Gee, if we only had the will, we’d have warp drive in only three years. By the way … don’t let’s raise taxes.”

  5. Taral, times have changed. Entreprenural space will look different and in any case, never count out the combined energy of tech and money. There’s a whole solar system out there. Robots, 3D printing, nuclear rockets–much to be done. Read the book!

  6. I’m all in FAVOUR of exploring the solar system — we have the technology, and I *would* pay higher taxes to spend the money on more Cassinis, Dawns and Curiosities. Or at least divert the money away from killer-drones and stealth battleships. Exploring intersteller space is another matter.

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