Human Extremophiles: Mars as a Camera Obscura of the Extraterrestrial Scientific Culture (2019)

A book chapter published in The Human Factor in a Mission to Mars: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Springer Space and Society book series (SPSO). Edited by Konrad Szocik

The start of the century marked the beginning of a new era of scientific goals and technological achievements in space technologies, together with the new visions of space exploration ambitions. The enterprising plans of space travels and creation of first human settlement on Mars are frequently presented as the next proverbial giant leap for humankind. The chapter focuses on private space programmes and considers the motivations for future exploration of Mars from a sociocultural perspective. Further, it discusses why Mars is of such importance to public imagination today. In presenting a socio-science fiction, and regarding science as the primary mode of operating of such endeavour, the chapter argues that the Martian colonists will need to live in the extreme environments, survive unprecedented scenarios and in a way become organisms that thrive in extreme conditions, extremophiles, themselves.

klara anna capova human mission to mars

A manned mission to Mars is faced with challenges and topics that may not be obvious but of great importance and challenging for such a mission. This is the first book that collects contributions from scholars in various fields, from astronomy and medicine, to theology and philosophy, addressing such topics. The discussion goes beyond medical and technological challenges of such a deep-space mission. The focus is on human nature, human emotions and biases in such a new environment.

The primary audience for this book are all researchers interested in the human factor in a space mission including philosophers, social scientists, astronomers, and others. This volume will also be of high interest for a much wider audience like the non-academic world, or for students.

Astrobiology and Society in Europe Today (2018)

The White Paper published by Springer International Publishing in Spriger Briefs in Astronomy. Edited by Klara Anna Capova, Erik Persson, Tony Milligan, and David Dunér

This White Paper describes the state of astrobiology in Europe today and its relation to the European society at large. With contributions from authors in twenty countries and over thirty scientific institutions worldwide, the document illustrates the societal implications of astrobiology and the positive contribution that astrobiology can make to European society.


The White paper has two main objectives: 1. It recommends the establishment of a European Astrobiology Institute (EAI) as an answer to a series of challenges relating to astrobiology but also European research, education and the society at large. 2. It also acknowledges the societal implications of astrobiology, and thus the role of the social sciences and humanities in optimizing the positive contribution that astrobiology can make to the lives of the people of Europe and the challenges they face.

This book is recommended reading for science policy makers, the interested public, and the astrobiology community, this book:

  • Presents an overview of the status of astrobiology today.
  • Places astrobiology in a societal context.
  • Written by the leading European scientists and scholars in the field.
  • Strongly oriented towards policy formation.
  • Helps the reader make informed decisions about science and policy.

Attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among Swedish high school and university students (2018)

Original Research Article published in the International Journal of Astrobiology. Erik Persson, Klara Anna Capova, Yuan Li. DOI 10.1017/S1473550417000556

kac-ija-astrobiology-space-age-in-the-making-capovaAbstract: The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among high school and university students in Sweden. The most important results of the analysis are that: (a) the great majority of students believe that extraterrestrial life exists; (b) most students regard searching for extraterrestrial life to be quite important or very important; (c) very few students think that we should actively avoid searching for extraterrestrial life; (d) the most common motive for assigning a high priority to search for extraterrestrial life is that it is interesting, the most common motive for assigning a low priority is that such knowledge would not be practically useful, or that the money would be better spent elsewhere; (e) most students do not think they are very well informed regarding the search for extraterrestrial life. A higher percentage of the students who judge themselves to be well informed also believe that extraterrestrial life exists. We have also found some differences between subgroups (men/women, high school students/university students and different fields of study), but the differences are with few exceptions small in comparison with the overall trends, and they mostly differ in degree rather than direction.

Att presentera människan för utomjordingar (Introducing humans to the extraterrestrials) (2017)

A book chapter published by the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Study in the Multidisciplinary Writing Series, Liv: Utomjordiskt, Syntetiskt, Artificiellt edited  by Jessica Abbott and Erik Persson. From English original translated by Anna Cabak Redei.

liv Abstract: This chapter gives a brief overview of representations of human life on NASA’s 1972 Pioneer Plaque and the 1977 Voyager Golden Record. These spacecrafts carry messages informing about life on Earth. What information was included? How were humans introduced? What methods were used to communicate the message? And, do those messages really speak on behalf of humans of our planet? After the overview of NASA’s two interstellar messages, the chapter examines the message designs and analyses ‘story of human life’. Using the anthropology of science approach, the chapter shows that is was science as the fundamental concept that shaped the composition of both the Pioneer and Voyager messages.

The New Space Age in the making: Emergence of exo-mining, exo-burials and exo-marketing (2016)

Original Research Article published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.

kac-ija-astrobiology-space-age-in-the-making-capovaAbstract: At the beginning of the 21st century we witness considerable global developments in space exploration and a new era has begun: the New Space Age. The principal symbols of that age are firstly internationalization of space activities, secondly commercial utilization of space technologies, and lastly emergence of outer space economy. This paper presents selected signposts of the New Space Age.

Three cases of recent outer space enterprises: recovery of asteroid resources (exo-mining), post-cremation memorial spaceflight (exo-burials) and first extraterrestrial advert (exo-marketing), are introduced in order to emphasize the monetary and social dimension of commercial application of space technologies. To give an illustration of these trends, this paper provides a brief socioculturally minded account of three outer space undertakings that are interpreted as signposts of the new era.

Sociality and electricity in the United Kingdom: The influence of household dynamics on everyday consumption (2015)

Original Research Article published in Energy Research & Social Science in 2015. Authors: Sandra Bell, Ellis Judson, Harriet Bulkeley, Gareth Powells, Klara Anna Capova, David Lynch. DOI10.1016/j.erss.2015.08.027

capova-clnr-publication-electricity-ukAbstract: Our paper investigates household practices that use electricity, their relation to systems of provision and the enactment of domestic sociality. The results of this research conducted in the UK shed light on puzzling variations in electricity consumption across households posed by previous research. We argue for the need to attend to how household socialites influence and are influenced by electrical services and trace the links between these dynamics and the effects of wider cultural and socio-economic forces. Continue reading …

Fostering Active Network Management Through SMEs’ Practises (2015)

Research Paper published in Energy Efficiency in 2015. Authors: Gareth Powells, Sandra Bell, Ellis P. Judson, Stephen M. Lyon, Robin Wardle, Klara Anna Capova, and Harriet Bulkeley. DOI10.1007/s12053-015-9382-y

springer-publication-capova-klara-annaAbstract: Managing the electricity network through ‘smart grid’ systems is a key strategy to address challenges of energy security, low carbon transitions and the replacement of ageing infrastructure networks in the UK. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a significant role in shaping patterns of energy consumption. Understanding how their activities interrelate with changes in electricity systems is critical for active network management. Continue reading …

Customer-Led Network Revolution Project: Final Reports published online (2015)

CLNR High Level Summary of Learning Electrical Vehicle Users (2015) describes the CLNR trial which examined electric vehicles usage patterns and expected network loading in the event of large-scale take-up of electric vehicles. This CLNR project output is the largest socio-technical study of domestic EV charging in the UK. Authors: Klara Anna Capova, Robin Wardle, Sandra Bell, Stephen Lyon, Harriet Bulkeley, Peter Matthews, Durham University Gareth Powells, Newcastle University.

CLNR Report Domestic Customers: Energy Practices and Flexibility (2015) provides a synopsis of the research findings produced by the social science team at Durham University in collaboration with the engineering research team at Durham and Newcastle. Authors: Klara Anna Capova, Gareth Powells, Harriet Bulkeley and Steve Lyon, Durham University.

CLNR High Level Summary of Learning: Heat Pump Customers (2015) 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 multi method 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.

The Detection of Extraterrestrial Life: Are We Ready? (2013)

Chapter In Astrobiology, History, and Society: Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery Series: Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics edited by Douglas A. Vakoch (2013)

capova-astrobiology-history-and-society-vakochThis book addresses important current and historical topics in astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth, including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The first section covers the plurality of worlds debate from antiquity through the nineteenth century, while section two covers the extraterrestrial life debate from the twentieth century to the present. The final section examines the societal impact of discovering life beyond Earth, including both cultural and religious dimensions. Throughout the book, authors draw links between their own chapters and those of other contributors, emphasizing the interconnections between the various strands of the history and societal impact of the search for extraterrestrial life.

The chapters are all written by internationally recognized experts and are carefully edited by Douglas Vakoch, professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute. Free preview and reviews available from Springer.

Albina Dratvova: Scientific Diary 1921-1961 (2008)


Co-editor and Introduction in  Albina Dratvova, Denik 1921-1961. Scientific Diary. Edited by Klara Anna Capova, Heczkova, L. & Lestinova, Z., Published in Prague by Academia in 2008. Free preview and abstract available from Academia Publishing (Czech only).