Society Track: Herrick, Communications, Hope College

Dr. James Herrick: "Narrative Propulsion Systems: The stories that took us to space and the myths that will keep us there"

This presentation considers an often overlooked aspect of space exploration:  the cultural narratives that render space a domain of inevitable exploration, future colonization, and eventual permanent human residence.  Professor Herrick traces the modern mythology of space from the late nineteenth-century Russian Cosmists, through twentieth-century science fiction writers, to the Transhumanists of our own day.  These narratives of space shape space policy, inform public discourse, and profoundly influence our expectations of the human future.