Astrophilia Call For Presentations
First Global Astrophilia Summit
In partnership with
Call for Presentations
Dates: May 21, 2021
Location: Virtual
Conference Fee: $500.00 per person


Astrophilia is the theory that begins where the Theory of Biophilia ends  – in other words, Astrophilia may be defined as “biophilia beyond the borders of our biosphere. The Theory of Astrophilia, as it was submitted to the United States Copyright Office on January 1, 2019 (Markey, 2019) is rather mind-bending at first glance because it ventures unto the under-charted or lesser-charted territory of Space. It posits the following:

The Theory of Astrophilia suggests that sentience as defined as a capacity to feel, perceive or experience subjectively, combined with awareness as defined as a recognition of what we are not, provide the means through which we are inextricably linked with, and innately motivated to seek out the “other” with whom we share the Universe (Markey, 2019).

The reader will recall that the Theory of Biophilia (O’Grady, 2018) addresses the innate relationship that exists among all the species that share the biosphere on Earth. Since the idea of being awed by Nature is not confined only to the Earth’s biosphere, the Theory of Astrophilia proposes that a similar relationship exists among all sentient beings that share a common Universe. Even beyond the familiar sphere confined to the gravity of our own world, there lies a celestial sphere, one might say, with which all beings are inextricably linked, be they confined to gravity, or be they beyond its influence. Thus, a logical extension of the prior arguments of collaboration among the Earth’s kinds suggests that the same collaboration on a Universal level is vital far beyond our current understanding. 

The Theory of Biophilia (O’Grady, 2018) proposes that in the Earth’s biosphere, all living things – both non-human and human – are inextricably linked and innately motivated to interact with other species. When our motivations demonstrate the characteristics of awe, reverence, respect, and empathy, these inter-species interests and interactions can be mutually beneficial psychologically, biologically, emotionally, and spiritually in ways that encourage the species’ survival, evolution, development, and ability to flourish. Simply stated: we are living  harmoniously with Nature. Conversely, when these inter-species interests and interaction are plagued by egocentrism, self-serving biases, devaluation, and domination of one species by another, the outcomes can be catastrophic across the entire biosphere, resulting in the decimation, destruction, and/or extinction of both known and yet-to-be discovered species.

Upon first inspection, the expansion of the Theory of Biophilia into the Theory of Astrophilia appears relatively straightforward when we shift our perspective from global or planetary with regard solely to the Earth and its biosphere to an interplanetary or interstellar perspective across the Universe. However, since there appears to be some descension among members of the scientific community regarding the definition of “life,” by what criteria do we recognize and identify it? If “sentience” becomes the guiding principle for recognition and identification, how might interstellar species demonstrate or manifest his or her sentience assuming that such a gender differentiation even exists? Why are we so attracted to Space exploration, and why are we driven to seek out other life forms? What type of relationship might we be able to establish with other inter-stellar sentient ‘be’ings? What do we hope to gain from such a relationship, and what might we give them in return? Has anyone even bothered to calculate a cost-benefit analysis of such an interstellar or interplanetary collaboration?

Some of the characteristics of a “good” theory are its ability to educate, to generate open discussion and encourage further research for presentation and publication which constitute some of  the goals of the Theory of Astrophilia and the organization of First Global Astrophilia Summit. Assuming an Astrophilic perspective provides an unfettered opportunity to visit the nexus of theory and praxis. This international Summit will encourage a meeting of a diverse community of individuals who originate from a variety of disciplines and professions, yet share a common interest in Biophilia beyond Earth’s biosphere, and it is designed to facilitate a free exchange of ideas as well as to encourage communication and collaboration among the participants before, during and after the proceedings.

Among the delegates who we would encourage to attend are: conservationists, zoologists, philosophers, botanists, psychologists, climate scientists, NGOs, creative artists, biologists, educators, sociologists,  therapists, cultural theorists, counsellors, teachers, musicians, medical professionals, writers, pharmacologists, clergy, neuroscientists, theologians, parents, political scientists, hospitality industry or tourism professionals, public relations and advertising professionals, economists, journalists, reseachers, and anyone else who has a contribution to make regarding the Astrophilic perspective.

As we explore the manifold aspects of the concept of Astrophila, we encourage participants to think outside the limits of their own discipline, and to explore the implications for practice of Astrophilia and the related theories and perspectives that they espouse. In better understanding Astrophila, we can establish a more personal one-to-one relationship with the Universe, and have a role in raising the awareness of the communities of which we are a part.

We welcome traditional papers, panels and workshop proposals, as well as other forms of presentation platforms (art, poetry, posters, video submissions, and so on), given the interdisciplinary nature of the Summit, and recognising that different groups express themselves in various formats and mediums.

We would like participants – both from within and from outside academia – to explore the concept of Astrophilia in ways that include, but are not limited to:

Expressions or Contexts For Astrophilia

  • Visual Arts across various media (drawing, painting in watercolors, acrylics, oils, and so forth)
  • Music spanning a variety of styles (classical, folk, blues, and so on)
  • Literature (narratives, ancestry, lore, poetry, essay, book review, etc.)
  • Film (fiction and non-fiction) with examples, such as Contact with Jodie Foster or Avatar with Sigourney Weaver
  • Theatre (mainstream and otherwise)
  • Television (series, mini-series, science channel, history channel, and so forth)
  • Print (books, magazines, book chapters, and so on)
  • Health (physiological, psychological and physical benefits)
  • Philanthropy (individuals and organizations that benefit human and non-human species)
  • Volunteering (internal and external motives that motivate volunteering as well as organizations, circumstances, and situations that provide such opportunities)
  • Culture (correlations and examples of the relationship between culture and Astrophilia)
  • Spirituality (non-religious and religious examples of the relationship between spirituality and Astrophilia, such as Buddism, Druidism, and so forth)
  • Sacred Spaces (the creation and existence of sacred spaces in the Universe)
  • Social Media (blogs, discussions, web pages, and so forth that address Astrophilia)
  • Internet (national and international dissemination of information, news, education, and so on pertaining to Astrophilia)

Definitions of Astrophilia

  • What does Astrophila mean to you? How would you define it? How does your definition compare and contrast with that of others?
  • Theoretical Perspectives (biological, zoological, botanical, philosophical, theological, anthropological, sociological, psychological, physiological, spiritual, etc.) What theoretical perspective or combination of theoretical perspectives do you favour when addressing Astrophilia? Why?
  • Peak Experiences: awe, reverence, euphoria, epiphanies, the sublime etc. How can the Universe elicit such peak experiences? Have you personally experienced one of more of them or some other type of peak experience? How did it manifest itself to you (visually, auditorily or some other way)?

Wider Implications of Astrophilia

  • Historical Implications – How have our perspectives changed over time with regard to Astrophilia? Are these perspectives generationally oriented?
  • Law and Public Policy – How does this relation to natural justice? Legal justice? Differential justice? Universal Justice?
  • Structural Inequalities (taxonomy, species orientation, human/non-human dichotomy, “civilized things vs. natural things,” and so forth)
  • Power Asymmetry (Social Dominance Orientation/SDO, mutualism vs. Amensalism, human domination over all non-human species rather than collaboration between human and non-human species [companion and mutual benefactor approach], and so on)
  • Organizations and Associations, such as SETI)
  • Generational Influences (Baby-Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, etc.)
  • Morality and Ethics (responsibilities in research, the expansion of the Belmont Report, and so forth)
  • Anthropogenic Causes (of pressing problems such as climate change, global warming, sea level rise, species extinction, and so on)
  • World Views (economic, political, social psychological, evolutionary, etc)

Barriers to Astrophilia

  • Resources Perspective (consumerism, mass production, cloning, commodities, and so forth)
  • Population growth (industralized nations, developing nations, and so on)
  • Advanced technology (genetic splicing/engineering, etc)
  • Industry (agriculture, logging, residential development, real estate, and so forth)
  • Education (development of age-appropriate academic courses, adult education courses, CEUs, and so on)
  • Personal engagement (strategies to create an immersion in the Universe and to establish a one-to-one personal relationship with it, and so forth)
  • Public awareness (strategies and methods to raise public awareness and its personal investment in the Universe, etc.)

What to Submit:

300 word abstracts should be submitted by February 21, 2021. All submissions are minimally double blind peer-reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be sent by February 28, 2021. Abstracts should be emailed simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts should be submitted in a Word format with the following information and in this order:

  1. a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract f) up to 10 key words

E-mails should be entitled: Astrophilia Summit 1. Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times New Roman 12 point) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us within a week, you should assume we did not receive your proposal. It might be lost in cyberspace! (How appropriate!) We suggest, then, to resend it.

Organising Chairs

Dr. Mary Ann Markey:

George Markey:

This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various innovative and exciting discussions.

All papers accepted for the conference must be in English, and last no more than twenty minutes to present. 

We believe that it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the conference. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

Please note: we are not in a position to be able to assist with the conference fee; however, the virtual format of this Summit will help to mitigate many of the expenses commonly associated with conference travel, transportation, attendance, hotel accommodations, meals, etc.


Our conference will be hosted in a virtual/online environment that will be conducted in real time and recorded for subsequent viewing and reviewing by our Summit presenters and attendees.

Conference Website: