High school students studying at the Barboza Space Center are excploring careers as astrosociologists. We invite you to explore this exciting field of study. www.astrosocialogy.org.
What is ARI’s Mission?
The main purpose of the Astrosociology Research Institute (ARI) is to develop astrosociology as a multidisciplinary academic field consisting of the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and the arts. Astrosociology is defined as the study of astrosocial phenomena (i.e., social, cultural, and behavioral patterns related to outer space). ARI’s development of astrosociology serves to unite interested theoreticians, researchers, scholars, and STUDENTS together so they may more easily collaborate on space issues from a broad social-scientific perspective; that is, a concentration on the human dimension.
This effort includes, but is not limited to, the recognition of astrosociology as a legitimate field by the social science community and the space/aerospace community (including space agencies such as NASA and ESA). ARI is dedicated to assisting anyone interested in the development of astrosociology including, but not limited to, faculty, students, social science scholars and researchers, space scientists and engineers, and space advocates. Beyond individuals, ARI works with organizations of various types that support the development of astrosociology in a variety of different ways.
Related Practical Objectives
ARI seeks to carry out its mission in a number of different ways that are instituted simultaneously as well as added later to the program agenda as funding and relationships with other individuals and entities allow in the future.
World-Class Research and Theory Building — ARI Research Associates, along with ARI staff, members, supporters, sponsors, and volunteers, will continue their first-rate efforts already begun that further the astrosociology knowledge base and improve humanity’s understanding of its presence in space and the impact of space on societies on Earth. The development of this field requires conducting pioneering research and the construction of new theoretical constructs.
Conferences — ARI seeks to demonstrate the relevance of astrosociology and make significant contributions to space research involving human beings at all levels of social analysis (i.e., micro, meso, macro, global, and interplanetary) at conferences of different types. It is important for ARI to take advantage of such forums in order to inject the human dimension into traditional approaches such as engineering. Attempts to understand human groups and societies in space environments, as well as the impact of space on terrestrial societies, will become vital as the twenty-first century unfolds. ARI will continue to send out Calls for Papers and endeavor to create new relationships with the hosting professional organizations.
Presence in Academia — A core component of ARI’s mission involves various types of efforts aimed at establishing astrosociology in academia by creating courses in existing departments and programs, and at some point in the future as part of independent dedicated departments and programs. Astrosociology cannot remain relegated to conferences alone, but must move into traditional academic settings. Many of the projects and other efforts that arise in the future will dedicate themselves to this vital objective.
Student Support –– As funding allows, ARI assists students to study astrosociology, and excel in school while doing so. Forms of assistance include providing scholarships, partial defrayment of expenses associated with conference attendance/participation, internships at ARI (online and eventually at ARI’s physical site), and access to academic resources.
Liaison Program — ARI serves to promote students to pursue astrosociology for term papers, theses, and dissertations through formal contact with their faculty members and/or advisors in order to demonstrate to everyone involved of the legitimacy of astrosociology as an emerging academic field. Students have somewhere to turn if faculty question their decisions to pursue a topic related to astrosociology.
Faculty Support — ARI assists faculty members and independent scholars interested in astrosociology by providing resources to utilize in their research efforts. ARI serves as a contact from whom their colleagues and superiors can request information about astrosociology and the efforts of ARI. ARI encourages faculty to pursue astrosociological research.
World-Class Library — Online and physical manifestations of the ARI Library will provide students and scholars with access to a growing catalog of astrosociological materials useful to their research. The Virtual Library already exists at this website — continued from the site called Astrosociology.com — and serves to provide all interested parties, from veteran astrosociologists to newcomers to the field, with an ever-growing number of references for use in their work.
Future Projects — ARI plans to institute a wide-ranging array of projects to assist interested individuals and organizations in contributing to the development of astrosociology. ARI will provide research opportunities and supportive programs for organizations in addition to the members, supporters, and others with whom ARI forms a relationship. Thus, ARI seeks to work with individuals and organizations who wish to assist in furthering ARI’s mission in a variety of ways. Possibilities of collaborative relationships include conference sponsorships, curriculum development, and work on individual research projects.
Programs relating to the following areas remain under consideration for the future:
• Annual astrosociology conference
• Online astrosociology course(s)
• Astrosociology research affiliations
How Do I Become an Astrosociologist?
When we state that ARI seeks to develop astrosociology as a legitimate field, we refer to the process in which we are working to move the subject matter that falls under its purview into academic programs and departments. This means that a big part of ARI’s mission involves assisting students who decide they wish to pursue astrosociology in their academic careers. ARI seeks to bring space into the social science classroom (and any classroom receptive to it) in the form of astrosociology. We believe that a considerable number of social science students will gravitate toward astrosociology once academic organizations make it available.
This mission also involves providing assistance to faculty and independent scholars who wish to pursue astrosociology or include it in some way in their existing research. “Astrosociological” research has been taking place throughout the space age on a limited, individualistic basis. ARI now seeks to create a viable astrosociological community in which proponents of this field can interact in various ways.