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Launch of the ENS-PSL Space Chair

Over the past half-century, human societies have succeeded in turning space into a new territory. From a scientific object, space has become an economic and geopolitical issue, as made clear today by considerable public and private investment.

These new realities raise lots of questions about the notion of space as the “territory or common good” of humanity. ENS-PSL intends to contribute to these reflections by creating a chair dedicated to exploring these notions.


The Space Chair at ENS-PSL will focus on three main areas of research:

  1. Uses and representations of space through the ages: connectivity, constellations, exploration, manned flight, environmental protection, etc.
  2. How can we reconcile space as a “common good” and space as an issue of sovereignty?
  3. Focus on the “Space for Climate” challenge: what contribution can space make to preserving the planet? What are the sustainable uses of space?


This research project will pursue three objectives:

  1. Consider the diversity of uses of Space.
  2. Raise public awareness of the many decisive impacts of space.
  3. Train future economic, political and scientific elites in the future challenges of space.


Training activities and the dissemination of knowledge will be set up within the framework of the Espace Chair. This will be made up of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from ENS-PSL. Stéphanie Ruphy, philosopher of science, will be the Scientific Director.

Stephanie Ruphy, Scientific Director of the Espace Chair

The ENS-PSL Space Chair is supported by Groupement des Industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales (GIFAS), Airbus, Air Liquide, ArianeGroup, CNES, Eutelsat Group, Safran, Sodern and Thales Alenia Space.

The budgets allocated to the Chair will enable the recruitment at ENS-PSL of young researchers, experts and doctoral students working on the identified lines of research, and the organization of teaching modules and events for the general public around the theme of Space.

Many thanks to our 9 patrons for their commitment to this Chair!  See you in early February for the launch event!