Societal Issues: June 2006

Astrobiology Poetry

"The First", by Stuart Atkinson

Maybe you're on Mars, inside
or hiding beneath a rock, many rocks,
exiled by the lethal blue-leeched sky
to a world of damp and dark,
A crystalline, Noachian dungeon where
"water" is just a scent and Time runs slow:
one billion sols... two billion sols...
between each breath a billion more...

19-21 September 2006 Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC - Purpose: The purpose of this conference is to undertake a broad overview of the societal impact of space exploration, especially as illuminated by historical research. The purpose is not to conduct an exercise in public affairs or a debate over public policy, but to examine with rigorous research what the impact has been, both nationally and internationally.