Hi guys! My name is Danielle LeMieux, I’m an anthropologist of space, social media, and futures, and I would love to chat with you and hear your thoughts!
I’m a US-Australian anthropologist currently doing research for my PhD with the University of Adelaide, Australia. I’m researching what goes on at the intersections of the space industry/its communities and social/new media. I work with people and groups in the US, Australia, and online, conducting interviews and participant observation (hanging out with people while they work, and participating and/or observing). Participants include: space scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, students, advocacy organisations, science communicators, social media personalities, aspiring astronauts, fan & public groups/networks, general members of the public, space artists and space-related architectural/concept/future designers, from all around the world. I focus on issues like imagination and future-making, communication and representation (visualisations, interactive, immersive, or multimodal representations), changing publics, and social media for science communication, engagement, participation, and collaboration, at levels of infrastructures and practices. I’m interested in exploring with people themes of the possibilities and relationships between humans and space, and humans and technology. My research is also supplemented with some social network mapping and social media/discourse analysis, particularly to explore how space projects/organisations/actors use social/new media and what strategies work well, how information and media objects move through social networks, and how people/publics access and engage with such information and objects.
So SpaceEngine, and its community, are so interesting and exciting to me as a researcher who is passionate about all these issues and areas. It’s such a cool case of engagement in space – as an accessible and fun game that allows its user community to virtually explore space, that is also based on astronomical data, which provides opportunities to engage with space science, learn, and even fact-check the professional space community!
I would love to spend some time chatting with the SE community about these ideas and about your thoughts and experiences, for my research. I have included some discussion topics and questions below. You can get involved in discussions here within this thread, or if you’d feel more comfortable talking privately, I can run informal interviews over email, Skype, or Hangouts. You can also PM me if you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns you’d like to raise!
email: [email protected] Skype: Danielle_LeMieux Hangouts: [email protected]
My discussion/interview data includes transcripts and/or my own personal notes, and participants and groups are anonymised/deidentified in write-up unless you particularly want to be identified and give me explicit written permission to do so. Data I collect will go to inform my analysis, writing, and outreach activities, with the aim being to produce a thesis, along with academic and popular/open-access articles and presentations. *Participants must be 18 or over*
You can find out more about my research at: www.daniellelemieux.com. Participants should read & sign the Participant Information & Consent Form (Google Doc): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ijzRPj1kUTumCN04F48R86Xx-CFaMcwEuR1B2S5SbQo.
Please, if you’re interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to contact me/reach out with any suggestions, questions or concerns you might have. If you’d like to jump straight in, please read and sign the info/consent form and we can start discussing some cool ideas! I’d also love to hear about any events or projects coming up in the community that you think might be relevant and that you might be willing to let me observe. Feel free to share my project info with anyone else in the community you think might be interested!
Thank you so much for your time, guys, I really look forward to meeting and doing great research with you!
this is meant to be a broad jumping off point, feel free to focus on issues that you think are important and interesting, or suggest others that you think I’ve missed. I’d love to hear all about your thoughts, opinions, experiences, and meanings – please don’t worry about whether your answers are correct, complete or perfect, that’s not the goal here. I’m interested in learning about your practices – what you do and what it means to/for you.
- Why space? What does it mean to you? Why does it interest you? What inspired you or sparked your original interest?
- Your information & communication practices: How do you personally follow, learn about, and participate in space technology, science, and projects? Do you work or volunteer on any projects? How? Do you play any other space-related games? Lists, examples, or links are great and very much appreciated! How do you stay up-to-date with the space-related news and events that interest you? What news sites do you check, what newsletters do you subscribe to, what chats do you run, which podcasts and livestreams do you listen to/watch, which accounts, people, institutions, projects do you follow on social media, which channels and platforms? How do you learn new things to do with space? How do you access and share resources? What do your networks look like? How many people do you interact with? What kinds of content do you produce and share?
- SpaceEngine – why do you like it? Why and how do you use it? What do you think you learn, access, or ‘get’ out of it? How do you play and interact with others in the community (eg. Discussions on other forums or chat services, making/sharing mods, sharing music, sharing scientific or educational resources, etc.)?
- Past, present, future possibilities for Humans: 1. Living and working with space and the environment; 2. Living and working with technology. What are contemporary issues in the space industry and its communities? What moments, events, people, organisations, companies, technologies, places, etc. were important or significant in the past? What about now? What about in the future – what do you think will be important? What possibilities and visions for the future of humans & space, humans & technology do you think would be the best? Worst? Most likely? Based on what – ie., how could we guarantee or avoid them? Have your visions or ideas been influenced by anything (like popular news stories, policy documents, movies or books, etc.)? Histories, stories, wild speculation, maps, links, videos, etc. are all great!!