The July talk will be given by Dr. Tony Milligan, lecturer in philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire and writer on applied issues in ethics. His recent book, Nobody Owns the Moon: The Ethics of Space Exploitation, explores some of the ethical dilemmas which are raised by human activity off-world.
Human activity in space promises to shed light on a range of scientific issues, from the origins of life through to the formation of the Earth itself. Some of the gains can be made without establishing any direct human presence. Yet the latter does seem to offer a further dimension. (There are things that humans do badly, but others that we do rather well.) There may well turn out to be distinctive knowledge gains from putting humans in situ. An argument can be made. But such gains will, for the indefinite future, come at a price. Bad things happen to people in space, bad things happen on the ground and even more regularly upon re-entry. This talk will examine some ethical responses to the dangers.