skip to main content
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi


Event Information:

  • Mon

    The Society for Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

    8:00 amOnline via Zoom

    The Society for Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology (SSoCIA 2020)

    This conference was originally schedule for this past Spring (See SSoCIA2020) but has now been rescheduled as a virtual conference, which will run from Mon 12/14 to Thu 12/17 from 8 am until noon or so, CST.

    Neil Manson, Professor of Philosophy here at UM, is the main organizer of this year's conference.

    Program Draft 5.0

    SSoCIA 2020: To the Internet and Beyond!


    Note: all times listed are EST (London minus 5 hours)


    MONDAY 12/14

    • 9:00-9:20 Welcome (please be sure to attend)


    • SETI and METI I
      • 9:20-9:40 Julia DeMarines          The Morality of Interstellar Messaging
      • 9:40-10:00 Carlos Santana            We come in peace(?): On the ethics of interstellar diplomacy
    • 10:00-10:20 Chelsea Haramia         Seeking Shared Values while searching for ETI Imaginary


    • Planetary Protection I
      • 10:35-10:55 William Kramer          Environmental Assessment and Outer Space Actions
    • 10:55-11:15 Alan Johnson              Half-Earth, the 1/8 Principle, & Ethics of Collective Restraint
    • 11:15-11:35 Nick Nielsen               Conservation Ethics for Spacefaring Civilization
    • 11:35-11:55 Robert Lodder             Predicting the Effects of the Outer Space Treaty on Lunar Mining


    • 12:10-1:10 Poster Session           
      • Klara Capova, et. Al
      • Ryan Fortenberry
      • Erik Hom and Alex Penn
      • Caleb Hylkema

    TUESDAY 12/15

    • SETI and METI II
      • 9:00-9:20 William Alba              From Monologue to Dialogue
      • 9:20-9:40 Douglas Estes             The Assertive/Interrogative Divide in METI
      • 9:40-10:00 John Traphagan          SETI, Cultural Evolution, and the Star Trek
    • Astrobiology and Education
      • 10:15-10:35 David DeGraff            Using Aliens to Teach Evolution
      • 10:35-10:55 Erik Persson                Lessons learned from Socratic Dialogue in astrobiology education
    • 10:55-11:15 Astrid Modera             A relational definition of life for Astrobiology
    • Planetary Protection II
      • 11:30-11:50 Linda Billings             Planetary protection: an idea whose time is gone?
    • 11:50-12:10 Douglas Capper          Protecting Our Moon with Multipurpose Nature Reserves
    • 12:10-12:30 Pauli Laine                  Human Mars exploration vs planetary protection
    • 12:30-12:50 Doan vu Doc               The precautionary Principle and Space Exploration

    WEDNESDAY 12/16

    • Offworld Settlements
      • 9:00-9:20 Abhik Gupta               Life in space colonies: can ecocentrism help?
    • 9:20-9:40 Joseph Gottlieb           Psychological Impediments to Collective Space Colonization
    • 9:40-10:00 Sherri Wells-Jensen    Why Humans with Disabilities Will Colonize Space
    • 10:00-10:20 James Schwartz          Against Human Enhancement as a Default for Space Societies
    • Biology I
      • 10:35-10:55 Lucas Mix                   Can Astrobiology Transcend Biology?
      • 10:55-11:15 Andrew Kennedy        The Coincidence Number of a Universe & Implications for Life
    • 11:15-11:35 Tomislav Janovic        Directionality, Contingency, and Extraterrestrial Life
    • 11:45-1:20 Public showing of He Painted The Future
      a film about legendary space artist Chesley Bonestell

    THURSDAY 12/17

    • Space Art
      • 9:00-9:10 Kelly Smith                 Why a session on art?
      • 9:10-9:30 Sabina Heinz               Art meets science
      • 9:30-9:50 Daniella DePaulis       ‘COGITO in Space’
    • Biology II
      • 10:05-10:25 Nathalie Gontier         Mode & tempo of evolution of life on earth and possibly elsewhere
    • 10:25-10:45 Carlos Mariscal           Universality in/of Evolution
    • 10:45-11:05 John Malloy                Beyond Metabolism and Genetics
    • Moral and Social Theory
      • 11:20-11:40 Ted Peters                   An Astroethics of Responsibility and Care
      • 11:40-12:00 Jason Howard             Finitude as the Lingua Cosmica of the Universe
    • 12:00-12:20 Flora Dutra                 Agriculture, permaculture and terraforming
    • Miscellaneous
      • 12:35-12:55 Robert Kennedy          Projected Interstellar Mission Capacity
      • 12:55-1:15 Brig Klyce                  Some Things are Simply Given