Debating space

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 16 2011 7:00 AM

Debating space

So this is cool: the National Forensic League -- the national honor society that promotes debating skills for high school students, and which suggests topics for debate teams -- has announced their policy topic for the 2011 - 2012 debating season... and I like it!

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Nice! I think this is an excellent topic, and I know it'll get a lot of folks thinking about space. There are a lot of pros and cons to space exploration, of course, but to me the positives far, far outstrip the negatives. Not everyone agrees, so I'd be interested in seeing some of these debates.

I get a lot of questions -- a lot -- about astronomy and space from kids in this age group. I expect this debate topic will prompt many more, since I'm outspoken on the topic. So I'll take this opportunity to link to a few of my earlier blog posts where I make my opinions pretty clear. I've divided them up into subtopics to make them a little easier to read, too. I have no problem trying to influence the opinions of others, but my intent here is to give any potential debaters a place to start, a jumping-off point.

Agree with me? Disagree? Why, that's why we have debates!



Politics and space

Space exploration

NASA and space




I expect I'll be referring a few students to this blog post in the year to come... and if you know kids who are interested, let them know about the topic! And, as always: per ardua, ad astra.

Tip o' the spacesuit visor to Linda Mitts for this info.


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