UK Happenings

Discussion to address social, political, moral issues in deep space exploration

deep space

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2023) — University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts and Humanity In Deep Space will present “An Anthropologist in Outer Space” with space anthropologist Savannah Mandel on issues surrounding deep space exploration. The free public event will begin 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at Bolivar Art Gallery in the Art and Visual Studies Building.

Human space exploration and colonization continues to present challenges with each new venture. Some of these challenges are scientific and technological but many more are cultural and ethical. Throughout her research, Savannah Mandel draws from cultural studies to confront a wide range of social, political and moral debates surrounding deep space exploration. Join her in a conversation to discuss how these issues might be overcome as humanity transitions into a spacefaring civilization.

Kris Kimel, founder of Humanity In Deep Space and co-founder of the commercial space company Space Tango, will serve as moderator of “An Anthropologist in Outer Space.”

Mandel’s work focuses on outer space and large-scale technological systems. She holds multiple degrees in anthropology and is a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech. Mandel has worked at Spaceport America, written space policy for the commercial spaceflight industry, and is a lead collaborator with Humanity In Deep Space. Her debut book “Ground Control: An Argument For The End Of Space Exploration” is to be published in 2024.

Humanity In Deep Space is an interdisciplinary initiative that explores the constellation of hard problems and issues from science to health, food, the humanities, economics, law, space ethics, etc., that we face as our species continues the transition to a spacefaring civilization.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.