Podcast - Offworld

Offworld: Isolation and Loneliness in Space Travel

This week on Offworld, we explore the trope of isolation and loneliness in science fiction space travel, and how both fictional and real-world astronauts cope with being away from home for extended missions. Joining us are neuroscientist Indre Viskontas and field geophysicist Mika McKinnon for a lively discussion on how sci-fi depicts the very real challenge of isolation in space!

Comments (6)

6 thoughts on “Offworld: Isolation and Loneliness in Space Travel

  1. This made Silent Running (1972) with Bruce Dern immediately come to mind. That movie has really stuck with me after seeing it. I would love to see a talk on it with Ariel especially given there are so many issues to touch on like droids, isolation, plant life.

  2. I thought of the survival series Alone. I am currently watching the second season and it is interesting how often the people that surpass the survival part quit due to loneliness or feelings of boredom. Meanwhile some of the ones having the hardest time stay in the competition.

  3. Thank you so much for this episode. I rarely take notes when listening to podcasts but this was absolutely worth writing down.

  4. Never saw the show but that is interesting. it would seem the struggle with the survival part is a distraction or keeps them from dwelling on the loneliness.

  5. Guys… IF you can clone a person so that a copy of *that* person is made then OBviously, there’s a way to record memories, perhaps edit them and then insert them into the new person. Really you scientists aren’t looking at the solutions hard enough. And story-telling doesn’t not always have to show every tech detail.

  6. i always find cloning in sci-fi fascinating. seems to be magic. i do have one question about mental development, memories, and learned behavior that i would like an opinion on. do u think it is possible to learn how to do things, both physically and mentally, without ever actually doing them(Neo in the Matrix). He seemingly grew up and learned how to walk and talk and function as a human completely inside the matrix, never having done any of those things for real. I still have memories of dreams that are mostly indistinguishable from actual memories, so i think that is fine, but can u learn something that takes muscle memory without ever physically doing it.

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