Starship Symposium San Diego


May 21-22, 2013 – Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination @ UC San Diego

Links to the videos of the symposium can be found here & the book can be purchased here.

Starship Century is a symposium coordinated by the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination in collaboration with Gregory and James Benford, presenting ideas from their anthology of science and science fiction of a 100 year project to create a starship. Scientists address the challenges and opportunities for our long‐term future in space, with possibilities envisioned by: Stephen Hawking, Freeman Dyson, Sir Martin Rees, Paul Davies and Robert Zubrin, Science fiction authors such as Neal Stephenson, David Brin, Nancy Kress, Allen Steele, Joe Haldeman and Gregory Benford discuss the implications that these trajectories of exploration might have upon our development as individuals and as a civilization.


(subject to change)


 9:00  Opening Remarks   James Benford, Gregory Benford,  Sheldon Brown


 9:20 AM Starships and the Fates of Humankind   –  Peter Schwartz

10:05 PM Noah’s Ark Eggs and Warm-Blooded Plants   –   Freeman Dyson

10:50 AM On the Way to Starflight: Economics of Interstellar Breakout  –   Robert Zubrin

11:35 AM Thinking Big   –  Neal Stephenson

12:20 PM Lunch


1:30 PM Developing Near Space  –  Patti Grace Smith

2:15 PM The Nuclear Rocket: Workhorse of the Solar System  –  Geoffrey Landis

3:00 PM The Coming Interplanetary Economy  –   Chris Lewicki

3:45 PM  Panel: The Future Of New Space  –  moderated by Peter Schwartz

  • Freeman Dyson
  • Neal Stephenson
  • Allen Steele
  • Geoffrey Landis

5:15 PM  Starship Century Book Signing

6:00 – 8:00 PM   Dessert Reception: “Remembering Sir Arthur C. Clarke”
Seuss Room alcove, Geisel Library, UC San Diego



9:00 AM Starship Concepts  –  Adam Crowl

9:45 AM Sailships  –  James Benford

10:30 AM Exotic Paths to the Stars  –  John Cramer

11:15 AM Starship Destinations  –  Ian Crawford

12:20 PM Lunch

1:30 PM Can We Survive Alien Biospheres?  –   Paul Davies

2:15 PM Becoming Galactic  –  Jon Lomberg

3:00 PM Panel: Getting To The Target Stars – moderated by Jill Tarter

  • Ian Crawford
  • Robert Zubrin
  • Geoffrey Landis
  • Adam Crowl

4:00 PM  Fiction Writers Panel: Envisioning The Starship Era – moderated by Gregory Benford

  • Joe Haldeman
  • David Brin
  • Larry Niven
  • Vernor Vinge
  • Jon Lomberg

5:00 PM Closing Remarks – James Benford, Gregory Benford, Sheldon Brown

5:30 PM Writers Book Signing

7:00 PM Public Book Signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
click here for more details.