Mars Extant Life Conference


I'll be presenting a paper in November 2019 at the Lunar and Planetary Institute's "Mars Extant Life: What's Next?" conference in Carlsbad,  New Mexico.  My presentation is "Giving Voice to the Extraterrestrial - Providing legal standing to the unknown."  In short, should we discover life on Mars or elsewhere (microbial scale organisms, not the Hollywood alien variety), what should be our ethical relationship?  Will we be able to own it, patent it, or exploit it without any ethical consideration?  The overwhelming opinion is that because it will be small by human standards, it deserves no ethical consideration based entirely on its size (this was the approach taken by the 1976 Viking missions that searched for life on Mars, then incinerated the sample regardless of what was found.  Had life been discovered, our first encounter would have set a lethal precedent).  My position is that size is irrelevant, and that, at a minimum, the entity should be provided ad litem human representation now, before it is discovered.  I've ordered tshirts that say, "SAVE THE MARTIAN MICROBE" that will hopefully generate some interest.  If interested in the conference:


I've been invited to NASA's NEPA meeting at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, in April to prov


I've been invited to brief NASA's NEPA team on potentials for applying environmental impact assessment techniques to extraterrestrial actions, such as mining on Mars.  The meeting will be held at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans in April.

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National Association of Environmental Professionals

NAEP's 2019 annual conference will be in Baltimore, Maryland, May 19-23.  I'll be presenting a paper proposing that best management practices, industrial codes of conduct, and similar standards used to guide construction and operations  on Earth can be modified and applied to extraterrestrial actions.