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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Space: the Final (Ethical) Frontier

Brian Green, director of technology ethics, interviewed for Santa Clara University's Illuminate

Santa Clara University's Illuminate sat down with Green, the director of technology ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, to discuss his book and why he hopes its concepts will lead to “a revolution in ethics” about space.

"It gets to the fundamental question of how do we actually do the right thing? The answer is you have to set up a world where good behavior is incentivized and bad behavior is not incentivized. And it’s very difficult to do that. It’s fundamentally a question of who has more power, and right now in the world powers, nobody’s in charge. Nobody can trust anyone else so the question is: how do you promote international trust?

One of the things I hope becomes clear in the book is that we don’t know what the future is going to be like, but we do know we’re going to be the people in the future, making decisions. Therefore, we really need to concentrate on what we are doing now in order to make ourselves morally better people. There are folks around the world who want to do the right thing in space. We need to recognize that our cooperation here is necessary, and that we’re not going to get through this without working with each other."

Brian Green, director of technology ethics, interviewed for Santa Clara University's Illuminate.