Dr. Edythe Weeks, Adjunct Professor of International Relations and coordinator for the MA in IR online program, Department of History, Politics, & International Relations, believes that the process of outer space development has already begun. According to Weeks, now is the time for people to hone their skill sets, talents, and expertise in order to benefit from participating in the commercialization of space or from critiquing the process. Otherwise, she says, history is likely to repeat itself and only an elite few will benefit.
Weeks would like to see more of the world participate in the development process and thus be more likely to share in the endless bounties of outer space. This is the purpose of her new book entitled Outer Space Development: International Relations and Space Law: A Method for Elucidating Seeds (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).
Weeks explains in her book that outer space development is currently the purview of wealthy visionaries, a situation that she says will exacerbate the world’s inequality and instability. Her solution is education, and she theorizes that the timing is good: In our era, there seems to be little else for students, visionaries, dreamers, and artists to dream about.
Weeks urges educators to find ways to incorporate outer space development studies, especially to students of social and behavioral sciences, and arts. She says that unless we educate all people within the global society, outer space commercialization will follow the path of similar discoveries of natural resources and create wealth for a small minority, to the detriment of civilization. Conflict has often been linked to inequity, which Weeks believes is the reason the international community continues to profess the need for equality. Outer space should be no exception, she says.
Read more about Space Development: International Relations and Space Law: A Method for Elucidating Seeds.