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Seedling Biospheres in Outer Space

Off Earth Atlas  Project 

University College London

Collège de France, Université PSL

Team « Anthropologie de la vie », Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale

Maison Française d’Oxford (UMIFRE 11 CNRS/MEAE)

Workshop 1

Seedling Biospheres in Outer Space

The Remarkable Proliferation of Life in Bottles, Fridges, Greenhouses And Spacecrafts

Perig Pitrou & Istvan Praet

December, 5th 2022

Salle 4, Collège de France

11 place Marcelin Berthelot, Paris 5e

In person event. Registration (https://forms.gle/LonBigx1mSVXMMxF9)

Along with astrobiological research into the possibility of life elsewhere, space exploration has led contemporary researchers to extend the limits of life beyond Earth. At various scales, technical devices have enabled them to make key processes such as nutrition and respiration work in very different conditions. At the same time, they have acquired considerable expertise in sustaining non-human life (micro-organisms, plants, animals …) in artificial environments. The objective of this workshop is to reflect on how such techno-scientific projects — which have in common that they engender veritable ‘micro-worlds’ or seedling biospheres — contribute to the reconfiguration of life-as-we-know-it and perhaps even humanity itself. 

The Off Earth Atlas is a joint project of the University College London (UCL) and the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), in partnership with the Collège de France and the Maison Française d’Oxford. It aims to foster a sustained dialogue between anthropology, and the social sciences/ humanities more generally, and all those who are engaged in the ongoing endeavour to explore and exploit outer space.  A series of workshops will cast new light on four key aspects of that emerging dialogue: ‘Forms of Life’ (Paris), ‘Territories’ (London), ‘Architectures and Infrastructures’ (London), ‘Images and Imaginations’ (Oxford). Ultimately, these will result in an Off Earth Atlas, containing some fifty images and graphs accompanied by short texts.

9h45 Introduction 

10h00 Presentation of the project “Off Earth Atlas”

 David Jeevendrampillai, Centre for Outer Space Studies, University College London

 & Perig Pitrou, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Maison Française d’Oxford, Collège de France, Université PSL

10h15 The Atlas: A Website and Curatorial Project

Elsa De Smet, Centre Pompidou-Metz

Delphine Mercier, University College London

Gerald Sim, University College London

10h30 Life Support Systems

Kärin Nickelsen, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

11h00 Short break

11h15 Closed Systems

Elie Danziger, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 

École Normale supérieure, Collège de France

11h45 Future Space Aquaculture

Cyrille Przybyla, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (French Institute for Ocean Science)

12h30 Lunch (Registration mandatory : https://forms.gle/LonBigx1mSVXMMxF9)

14h00 Evolutions 

Kathleen Bryson, Oxford University

14h30 Circadian Rhythms

Aaron Parkhurst, University College London

15h00 Ascensions

Luis Campos, Rice University 

15h30 Break

16h00 A Cultivating Liberation

Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College [zoom]

16h30 Mars Bubble

Jordan Bimm, University of Chicago [zoom]

17h00 Seedling Biospheres

Istvan Praet, Durham University 

17h30 Final Comments

Victor Buchli, University College London [zoom]

17h45 General Discussion

18h30 End of the workshop

Organization & Information : Linda Brendlin [linda.brendlin@college-de-france.fr]

Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale