Research Questions

The Interstellar Research Centre carries out work in a broad set of areas associated with the big questions of human existence in the Universe. These questions have been chosen as significant problems that if solved will have a profound effect on our species. Whilst it is not expected that exact answers to many of them will be obtained any time soon, these questions guide the research directions and also help to facilitate the discussions in the community.

The defined questions are as follows:

  1. Nature of Homo sapiens: What is the origin and evolutionary trajectory of Homo sapiens and is our history non-linear?

  2. Survival of the Species: What is the relationship of human kind’s progress to Earth’s climate and how can we plan for long-term survival of the species given existential threats?

  3. Interstellar Travel: Can intelligent life travel to other star systems, what does the laws of physics allow or prohibit, and what can we engineer?

  4. Extra-terrestrial Intelligence: What is intelligence, can it manifest itself in other forms in the Cosmos and how can we detect it?

  5. Fundamental Physics: What is the reason for the inconsistencies between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?

  6. Reality & the Cosmos: What is the content and nature of the Universe, space and time, and is it a part of a wider Multiverse?

  7. Consciousness: What is the nature of consciousness, and altered states of consciousness, is it an emergent phenomenon from matter or a pre-existing condition of a wider reality?