Life in Space, People of the Stars

Homo Stellaris. What will it take to become “People of the Stars?” The 2016 TVIW Symposium explored the concept of the adaptations that humans would require in order to support interstellar exploration and colonization. More than just biological, there are social and political adaptations required as well. Good Science Fiction addresses a few of the problems, such as the body’s adaptations to zero-G or microgravity, but there are so many issues that a body evolved in a constant 1-G field, with plentiful air and water will have adapting to space, that no one story can address them all. So we guess, we theorize and we invoke wishful thinking that all of the problems will somehow be solved by the time we get there.

This seminar will examine many of the real medical and physiological problems encountered by the few humans who have spent more than a handful of days in space, and extend that exploration with discussions of the bigger picture of building the will and the means of getting humans off of Earth: From tech billionaires to the dreamers of modern SF.

During this seminar Dr. Hampson will lead seminar participants in a discussion of the real problems facing humans as we move out into space and potentially other planets.


Robert E. Hampson, Ph.D. is THE (brain) scientist behind the science fiction for more than a dozen writers. He has assisted in the (fictional) creation of future medicine, brain computer interfaces, unusual diseases, alien intelligence, novel brain diseases (and the medical nanites to cure them), exotic toxins, and brain effects of a zombie virus. With over a dozen short stories published and in process, his fiction ranges from the Four Horsemen Universe-4HU (Chris Kennedy Publ.), to Baen’s Black Tide Rising universe to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Mad Science Writing contest (U.S. Army Small Wars Journal). He has just released the novel Do No Harm in the Four Horsemen Universe and is co-editor with Les Johnson of the mixed science and fiction anthology STELLARIS: People of the Stars (Baen).

Dr. Hampson is a Professor of Physiology/Pharmacology and Neurology with over 35 years’ experience in animal and human neuroscience. His professional work includes more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles ranging from the pharmacology of memory to the effects of radiation on the brain, and is leading a multi-institutional clinical research effort to develop a “neural prosthetic” to restore human memory. With more than two million words in scientific writing alone, communicating science to professionals and lay audiences is his greatest interest. He is known to many by his former pen-name “Tedd Roberts” or his internet handle “Speaker to Lab Animals,” having given public talks on science, science fiction (and the science in science fiction) to professors, students and civic groups, government agencies as well as SF/F conventions.

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