TVIW 2017 Call for Papers, Workshop Tracks, and Posters: The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW), in collaboration with Starship Century and Tau Zero Foundation, hereby invites participation in its 2017 Symposium to be held from Wednesday, October 4 through Friday, October 6, 2017, in Huntsville, Alabama. Our Program Committee is seeking proposals for Plenary Papers/Talks, Working Tracks, and Sagan Meetings as well as other content such as posters. Our Conftool system (where you register) also acts as the repository for the submissions described below.

  • Plenary Papers include traditional papers, lectures, and presentations that will be selected from submitted abstracts. See Appendix 1 for details and abstract submission guidelines.
  • Working Tracks are collaborative, small group discussions around a set of interdisciplinary questions on an interstellar subject. See Appendix 2 for details and abstract submission guidelines.
  • Sagan Meetings are new for TVIW 2017. Carl Sagan famously employed this format for his 1971 conference at the Byurakan Observatory in old Soviet Armenia, which dealt with the Drake Equation. Each Sagan Meeting will invite five speakers to give a short presentation staking out a position on a particular question. These speakers will then form a panel to engage in a lively discussion with the audience on that topic.
  • Invited Talks are presentations that contain significant results or describe major activities in the field and will be solicited by sponsoring organizations or the conference organizers.
  • Discussion Groups are for those not participating in the working tracks or Sagan Meetings and offer opportunities for free form discussion of subjects of mutual interest to attendees.  They are unstructured and no specific output is expected although it is hoped that these groups might generate teams and/or topics that would lead to future Working Tracks and possible collaborative efforts in the interstellar field.  Coffee, pen, and paper will be provided.  An expanded list of possible topics will be available each day of the Symposium and anyone wishing to propose a topic is free to do so. Contact David Fields ( to suggest topics.
  • Other Content includes, but is not limited to, posters, displays of art or models, demonstrations, panel discussions, interviews, or public outreach events.  Please refer to Appendix 1 for more information and the abstract submission guidelines.

What will happen to my content, beyond the symposium?

Since TVIW serves as a critical incubator of ideas for the interstellar community, we intend to publish the work of TVIW 2017 in many outlets, including a complete workshop proceedings in book form.  To support this goal, we ask for academic papers to supplement plenary talks.  TVIW will consider proposals without them, but priority will be given to proposals with accompanying papers.  Papers should be original work that has not been previously published.  Select papers will be submitted to professional publications, such as JBIS.  All Plenary Talk proposals with written papers that are accepted will be automatically entered into a raffle that will award up to two presenters with free registration to the TVIW 2017 Symposium.

TVIW Plenary Lectures, Working Tracks, Sagan Meetings and selected other events may be captured on video or in still images for use on the TVIW website, in newsletters and social media.  All presenters, speakers and selected participants will be asked to complete a Release Form that grants permission for TVIW to use this content as described.

The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW) is a scientific and educational association that promotes interstellar exploration, travel, and communications. The TVIW provides an opportunity for relaxed sharing of ideas in directions that will stimulate and encourage Interstellar exploration including propulsion, communications, and research. The ‘Workshop’ theme suggests that the direction should go beyond that of a ‘conference’. Attendees are encouraged to not only present intellectual concepts but to develop these concepts to suggest projects, collaboration, active research and mission planning. It should be a time for engaging discussions, thought provoking ideas, and boundless optimism contemplating a future that may one day be within the reach of humanity. Though the TVIW concept was explicitly intended to be regional (viz., the American Southeast), it is now, in fact, an internationally recognized event.Questions and responses to this Call for Papers, Workshops and Participation should be directed to:

Les Johnson, Chairman

Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop

TVIW is incorporated in the State of Tennessee as a non-profit education organization. TVIW is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) educational, non-profit corporation by U.S. Internal Revenue Service. For U.S. tax purposes, all donations to TVIW are fully tax deductible (as allowed by your local laws).



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