ESA History Project call for contributions

There is more to space than rocket science. Historians, diplomats, economists, law students, political scientists and sociologists, all have contributed to our understanding of the space age and its impact on our societies over the past decades.
60 years on from the placing of the first man-made object in orbit around the Earth, space is now an integral part of our daily lives and space science and technology is a project for the whole of humanity reaching not just beyond Earth’s atmosphere but also beyond our Solar System.
While the technological and scientific challenges of working, living and travelling through space motivate students to pursue such studies, the impact that space activities have on our lives on Earth and on relations among nations, players and our collective recent history, provides fertile ground for students and scholars in the humanities to take up space-related subjects.
The European Space Agency (ESA), the 22-nation-strong intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, is launching the latest phase of the ESA History Project (EHP). Building on the success of the previous phases, this new endeavour is marked by an opening out to other domains within the humanities, while continuing to take a historical perspective and write the history of space activities, especially in and by Europe, with a view, notably, to supporting present and future decision-making.

To mark the launch of this new phase, an international conference is being planned for 23–24 November 2017 in Padua, Italy in cooperation with the University of Padua and its Giuseppe Colombo University Centre for Space Studies and Activities (CISAS).
We are calling on early career scholars (generally up to the age of 35) and Master’s level and onwards university students from all over the world writing on subjects related to space activities to submit their work to be considered for presentation at the Conference and to enter the competition for an award for best paper.
In order to enter, please submit, by 30 July 2017 the following to the email address
– An abstract of your work in English
– Affiliation and description of the framework in which the work is being conducted
– An endorsement of your academic supervisor (if applicable)
– A short motivation letter

Those selected will be notified by 30 August 2017 and the following should be submitted by 30 September 2017:
– A full paper either in English or French
– An executive summary in English
– An evaluation letter from your academic supervisor

For those young scholars invited to present their paper at the Conference in Padua a certain amount of travel support will be provided upon request.
The winner of the prize will be offered a trip to Europe’s spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), in Kourou, French Guiana and/or the publication of his/her paper.
Looking forward to your contributions and we stand ready to answer all your queries.

The European Space Agency’s History Project (EHP)

Paris, 6 June 2017

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