Space: Speculation and Exploration

Lecture Series

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Assembly Hall

Each year, Chicago Society holds an academic conference in the spring, featuring a keynote address and several panels. This year, the theme is "Space: Speculation and Exploration." The conference aims to foster public science education by connecting professors and experts on space from various fields of science, economics, politics, and fiction with students and community members. Space has always captured the human imagination as few other topics can, and as we have increased our understanding of it so too have we increased the questions and possibilities available to us for exploration. The panels this year will be: Science, Politics and Business, and Fiction.

The science of space has always been a fascinating, yet vast and mysterious area of study. Through the years, our studies of the cosmos have revealed fundamental truths about ourselves and the universe in which we exist, while still raising innumerably more questions. Concurrent with these scientific advances have come possibilities for ventures such as commercial space activity and even colonization within the foreseeable future. Along with these possibilities comes a host of new political, economic and legal questions which both policymakers and the private sector must work together to resolve. Lastly, space has had an important influence on pop-culture and that representations of space in fiction reflect both our past knowledge of space as well as the opinions of the times in which these opinions were created. Panelists will include physicists, engineers, economists, political scientists, science fiction writers, filmmakers and more.

Free and open to the public. Register at

Sponsored by the Global Voices Lecture Series and the Chicago Society.

The Chicago Society is the premier event planning student group on campus, bringing esteemed speakers to campus to engage with the University of Chicago community. They aim to foster campus and community-wide discussion about important topics and pressing world issues. Past speakers include Bill Gates, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Nobel laureate Gary Becker, and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. The topics of these lectures range from economics, the modern short story, political questions, and scientific subjects.