BSC Green Criminology Research Network Webinar Series – 29 May 2024

The BSC Green Criminology Research Network launches its webinar series in 2024. Webinars will run bi-monthly on the last Wednesday of the month via MS Teams and will consist of either one speaker presenting for 40 minutes with 20 minutes for questions and discussion or two speakers each presenting for 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions.

Next Webinar:
Wednesday 29 May 2024 – 13:00 – 14:00
Progressing Space Criminology in an Era of Technological Transition
Dr Jack Lampkin, York St John University
Book Event online here.

Although the Cold War Space Age was dominated by nation states, contemporary progression in aerospace technologies is reliant upon both space agencies (i.e. NASA, the ESA) and private investment. Significantly, some of the world’s richest people are devoting incredible sums of money into advancing space capabilities, such as asteroid mining, lunar settlement, low-Earth orbit satellite expansion, and space tourism initiatives. This includes wealthy individuals like Elon Musk (of Tesla and Twitter fame, owner of SpaceX), Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO, owner of Blue Origin) and Richard Branson (Virgin CEO, owner of Virgin Galactic). With such investment comes the opportunity for state-corporate crimes like corruption, bribery, tax-evasion, discrimination and employment law violations.

Criminology had remained silent on such issues until 2019 when Professor Niroyoshi Takemura (Toin University of Yokohama, Japan) called for an Astro-Green Criminology to address those space-related activities that create environmental harm, whether they be terrestrial or extra-terrestrial. More recently, a small number of criminologists have started to engage with outer space issues. Mostly, this involves state-corporate criticism but environmental issues remain at the forefront of the (space) criminological imagination. Specifically, this includes research around space mining, orbital debris creation, air pollution from rocket launching, climate change contributions, anti-satellite missile testing, space junk and waste disposal, space warfare and the carbon costs associated with all space technologies.

In light of these issues, this paper aims to do three things. Firstly, it will describe some of the key issues of concern to criminologists. Secondly, it will discuss the importance of criminologists engaging with space expansionism and, finally, it will argue why Space Criminology is a more appropriate lexical term for the criminological study of such issues, than the aforementioned Astro-Green Criminology.