20 August 2013. The ESPI Director, Peter Hulsroj, co-chaired a seminar entitled ‘Exploring the Universe, Competition or Cooperation?’ with Shuang-Nan Zhang, Professor and Director at the Center for Particle Astrophysics, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. The seminar took place from 12 to 18 August and was attended by around forty students.
The seminar ‘Exploring the Universe, Competition or Cooperation?’ covered 6 morning sessions in which it was discussed whether we need to explore the universe at all, whether we need to do it with astronauts and robotic means or whether remote observation is enough, how exploration is and can be used for geopolitical purposes, how exploration inspires, whether and how exploration could lead to humans populating other planets and whether that would be desirable. Discussions were wide-ranging and many scientific and policy issues were addressed. Whether, indeed, a grand scheme for cooperation can be realized remained an open question, but both such schemes and pure competition and mixed approaches were investigated in detail. On Friday evening the movie 2001, A Space Odyssey, was shown as an open air event, and, remarkably, while the film was being shown the International Space Station passed above in full view.