Hello, fellow Futurographers,
This month, Futurography is focusing on synthetic biology, an emerging field that draws on engineering and computer science principles to reshape the basic stuff of life itself. It’s our final course for the current academic year, and we’re excited to lead you through it. We’ve already got a cheat sheet that lays out some of the basic terminology, debates, and other readings. And we’re also opening with our usual conversational introduction to get you ready for the other articles that will be coming in the weeks ahead.
In the meantime, here are the articles we published last month in our unit on the new space race:
- Introduction: Wondering why Luxembourg and India are getting involved in space? We’ve got answers.
- Cheat Sheet: Get up to speed with the key players, essential vocabulary, and more.
- When We Explore Space, We Go Together: Leaving Earth requires international collaboration. Former NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan explains why it’s so important.
- Space Exploration Isn’t Just About Science: Lindy Elkins-Tanton argues that it would feel like a military defeat if another nation beat the U.S. to Mars.
- We Need to Stop Talking About Space as a “Frontier”: The language we use matters, especially when it’s deployed in the service of envisioning possible futures, writes Lisa Messeri.
- Why India Is Investing in Space: For India, Kate Greene explains, sending rockets up isn’t just about nationalism.
- A Martian State of Mind: Did the CIA really astrally project to Mars in 1984? We asked a psychic spy.
- Russia’s Space Program Is Struggling Mightily: It’s the only country that regularly sends humans to orbit. But as Fordham University professor Asif Siddiqi shows, its long-term prospects don’t look great.
- The Terrestrial Challenges to Nigeria’s Ambitious Space Program: The country had early success with satellite launches, but it’s since been thwarted. Tade Ipadeola explores why.
- The Proper Role of NASA: Planetary scientist Craig Hardgrove argues that while the U.S. space agency supports exploration, private business should take over after that.
- International Collaborations in Space Always Reflect Politics on Earth: Konstantin Kakaes offers a brief history of the countries that send citizens into space, and why.
- Why the United Arab Emirates Is Building a Space Program From Scratch: For this nation, Kate Greene writes, it isn’t just about getting into orbit.
for Future Tense