Key info...

 Next Date: Thursday 14 July 2022, 7:30 PM - 9:45 PM
 Location: Life Science Centre
 Set aside: 3 hours
 Who is it perfect for:  Adults (18+ only)

It’s now 65 years since humans first sent a satellite up into space but the area surrounding Earth has started to get awfully crowded. We're kicking off a new season of Science Speakeasys by exploring some big questions surrounding space ownership, boundaries, laws and ethics.

So grab a drink and take seat under Gaia (our mesmerising 7 metre recreation of our wonderful world) as we debate: 

  • Who is responsible for the space ‘junk’ orbiting our planet?
  • What gives big businesses the right to assume ownership of space?
  • Who gets to decide that it’s okay to put satellites or rockets up into space when they can impact our view of our intergalactic back yard?
  • Do we have a right to make other planets suitable for human habitation when we’ve done such a bad job of looking after our own? What is Space Law and how do we enforce it?

Meet our panellists:

Dr David Rosario is a Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics at Newcastle University. He studies super-massive black holes and their connections to galaxies across the history of the Universe using data gathered from many telescopes both on the Earth and up in space. David is one of just 22 UK scientists who have been awarded time on the James Webb Space Telescope in its first year of scientific observations. Twitter: @astro_sario

Professor Christopher Newman is a Professor of Space Law and Policy at Northumbria University. He both teaches and researches space law, and has published extensively on the legal and ethical underpinnings of space governance. Chris has made numerous TV and radio appearances in the UK, speaking as an expert on space law and policy issues, and is regularly invited to deliver lectures in the UK and abroad. Twitter: @chrisnewman1972




Dr Fionagh Thomson is a senior research fellow in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation at Durham University. As a visual ethnographer, ecologist and ethicist, Fionagh is a research nomad, moving across different subjects, investigating hidden and side-lined issues and exploring what we do not what we think we do. Current interests include: dark skies, dark matter and the darker side of satellites. Twitter: @fion4gh

Ralph “Dinz” Dinsley is the Executive Director of NORSS (Northern Space and Security). Following a career in the RAF, Dinz founded NORSS in 2017 to support space flight operations and space surveillance for the sustainable use of space, including tracking satellite launches and orbits. Twitter: @dinsleyr

This event is part of Life Science Centre's Science Speakeasy programme – a series in which important and often controversial topics are debated. No topic is taboo, so these events are not suitable for anyone who is easily offended! We do, however, ensure that all discussion is based on correct science to avoid the spread of misinformation. Questions to the panel are encouraged, or you can just sit back and enjoy the event.

Limited tickets available. Pay bar available on the evening.

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