Fall 2020 in Review

Seasons greetings!

Fall 2020 has been a busy semester for NSPDOS in the midst of a staggering year. In this post, I'm going to conduct a quick review of everything the group did in our first full semester and look forward to our activities in the Spring.

Before I begin that, however, I want to acknowledge how hard this year has been for so many. The US is suffering from a worldwide pandemic and concomitant economic fallout, and those factors have exacerbated problems around the globe. Let's commit to solidarity and supporting each other as we look to the future.

With that: onto the work! This semester (well, over the summer really) we began two working groups. The first is on Cybernetics and Systems Theory, and the second called Future Ontologies. They've each met regularly as reading groups, and have contributed to two projects coming next Spring. More on that in a moment.

We also launched our Transceiver speaker series, which was a great success. We featured 4 speakers: Ed Keller on The Cosmopolitical Gesture; Valerie Olson on Multiscalar Space: Designing-In the Extraterrestrial; Allison Duettmann on Existential Hope; and Ayo Tanimowo Okunseinde on Culinary Temporalities. We plan to continue Transceiver in the Spring, starting in February - keep an eye out for announcements about future speakers.

In the greater world of SEDS, two of our members moderated online panels at SpaceVision 2020. Nick Travaglini's focused on going from STEM to STEAM, and Weston Finfer facilitated a discussion on Space Policy. Videos of those panels are not yet available, but we'll post them ASAP.

As for getting the word out, Cailin Potami wrote an article about us for NSSR's Research Matters. Oh, and we launched this blog over the summer!

Looking forward to the Spring, we plan to continue the Transceiver series as noted above. We also received funding to organize an online conference about space habitats; more info to come about this as it develops. Additionally, we're hoping to contribute to the Future Ontologies conference that the Liberal Studies Student Association is putting together.

Thanks for all the support we've received as we've begun. Special shout-outs to Anthony Dunne, our faculty advisor; Paul Kottman, Chair of the Liberal Studies program; all the amazing staff at TNS (Solidarity with the NSLC!); and everyone at SEDS who helped us get started as a new chapter.

From everyone at NSPDOS, we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. Peace to you and your loved ones, and see you next year!

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