New SoundMinds Radio Episode on What The Antarctic Teaches Us About The Science Of Space Exploration (listen here)
It’s 2026 and you are on board the Ares. The largest interplanetary spacecraft ever built. You are on the first colonial voyage to Mars and your crew will be the first hundred Martian colonisers.
This is how Kim Stanley Robinson opens his award-winning science fiction Mars trilogy – a set of three books about the colonial settlement of Mars. For Associate Professor Juan Francisco Salazar, this science fiction series opens up some important philosophical questions about what we think were doing as we colonise Antarctica and beyond.
In 2015 he release a documentary film based on ethnographic research undertaken in the Antarctic. The documentary is a speculative piece that sits at the intersections between science and social science. In this episode, he talks about his research and film making. Along the way, he raises questions about what we, as humans think we are doing in Antarctica. He says our actions in places like Antarctica tell us much about how we might act in the future when we set out to colonise other planets.