The pre-print of the White Paper available online

astrobiology and society white paper capova persson duner milligan

I am happy to announce that the free preprint version of the “Astrobiology and Society in Europe Today” white paper is now available for download from the European Astrobiology Institute website, section documents. The White paper, edited by K.A. Capova, E. Persson, T. Milligan, D. Dunér, was recently published through the SpringerBriefs in Astronomy book series, Springer, Cham (2018). The final authenticated version is available online from Springer’s Briefs in Astronomy series: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-96265-8

The European Astrobiology Institute (EAI) aspires to become a primary forum for the development of European Astrobiology ensuring that this relatively new interdisciplinary research field is established across Europe. The European Astrobiology Institute will be a consortium of European research and higher education institutions and organisations as well as other stakeholders aiming to carry out research, training, outreach and dissemination activities in astrobiology in a comprehensive and coordinated manner and thereby securing a leading role for the European Research Area in the field.

Klara’s dissertation now available online

The abstract and full-text of my doctoral dissertation, ‘The Charming Science of the Other: The cultural analysis of science in search for life beyond earth‘ is now available to download from Durham e-Theses.

Abstract: This dissertation presents the cultural study of scientific search for extraterrestrial life conducted over the past sixty years by the scientific community. It introduces an original piece of research that conceptualises the extraterrestrial life hypothesis as a significant part of the general world-view, constantly shaped by the work and discoveries of science. It sheds light on the ways in which alien life is imagined and theorised and presents its concept in both the scientific community and in popular culture. Drawing from anthropology of science it offers elaboration of ‘culture of science’ and ‘scientific culture’ and describes the scientific search for other life as a specific culture of science, here referred to as ‘charming science’. The three scientific search methods: message sending, analysing of cosmic signals and the search for extrasolar planets are conceptualised as the three search modes: messaging, listening and exploring respectively.

This work introduces the extraterrestrial ‘Other’ as a profoundly cultural concept, firstly presented as the missing subject of ‘charming science’. Exploration of public understanding the extraterrestrial life and popular imagination of the ‘Other’ is intended to introduce the scientific search in broader social context and address the role of science in contemporary Western world. The dissertation draws on the multi-sited and multi-method ethnographic fieldwork conducted over two years in the UK. The research methods included interviewing (semi-structured face-to-face interviews and interviews conducted via email), participation (conferences and scientific meetings), and data collection from the global ‘online’ community including social networks.

Keywords: science, extraterrestrial life, three modes, messaging, listening, exploring, anthropology of science, cultural analysis, multi-method research, multi-sited fieldwork, visual anthropology, popular culture, cultural formations, scientific practices, SETI, astrobiology, Other, cosmology, Western world, culture of science, scientific culture

Deathless Hopes: Reinventions of Afterlife and Eschatological Beliefs

The ‘Deathless Hopes’ conference will examine the subject of eschatology in Jewish and Christian traditions from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. Issues such as the hope of resurrection, apocalyptic scenarios, and cosmic redemption have been a hotbed of religious invention, renewal, and innovation with significant social consequences. Hosted by Oranim Academic College of Education in Tivon, Israel, the conference is funded by a Lautenschlaeger Symposium Grant.

I am very much looking forward to delivering my talk entitled ‘Technoscientific Afterlives: The New Cultural Practices and the Realm of Post-Modern Spirituality.’ Conference schedule is available to download from Fuller Theological Seminary website. For more information about the Fuller Theological Seminary please see Fuller Theological Seminary latest news or go to events page.

CLNR Summary published online: Heat Pumps

The High Level Summary of Learning: Heat Pump Customers is now free to download (pdf).

This summary presents the key messages from the final analysis of the domestic heat pump group in the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) monitoring trials. It presents outputs from the largest study of household electricity use in the UK and provides integrated socio-technical analysis of domestic customer loads and electrical consumption on the basis of interdisciplinary multimethod research.

Authors: Sandra Bell, Klara Anna Capova, Christian Barteczko-Hibbert, Peter Matthews, Robin Wardle, Harriet Bulkeley, Stephen Lyon, and Ellis Judson, Durham University and Gareth Powells, Newcastle University

International Committee for the History of Technology reports on “Sounds of Space”

Newsletter of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) reports on the Sounds of Space workshop organized by William R. Macauley and the Emmy Noether Research Group “The Future in the Stars: European Astroculture and Extraterrestrial Life in the Twentieth Century.” The workshop gathered more than two dozen scholars at Freie Universität Berlin in late November 2012. It set out to investigate how outer space was sonically imagined between the late 1940s and 1980. Broadening academic work on astroculture – hitherto focused on visual aspects – into another sensorial dimension was the main objective.

Read and/or download the ICOHTEC Newsletter, No 98, June 2013.

Report to the IAA on the 5th “Search for Life Signatures” symposium held at UNESCO

Report to the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) on the 5th “Search for Life Signatures” symposium held at UNESCO in Paris was written by Dr. Claudio Maccone IAA (Director for Scientific Space Exploration and Chair, IAA SETI Permanent Committee); the report is now available to download (PDF).