Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL EVENT: Official launch of the Centre for Outer Space Studies

05 October 2020, 7:00 pm–8:30 pm

NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center - Sun Primer

A COSS CATALYST event , themed on 'Earth', with Simon Faithfull (UCL Slade School of Fine Art), Divya M. Persaud (UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory) and Nicola Baldwin (UCL IAS Visiting Fellow 2020-21), introduced by COSS Director, Dr David Jeevendrampillai.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Centre for Outer Space Studies

4-10th October is World Space Week, which seems an auspicious week to officially launch the Centre for Outer Space Studies

The Centre for Outer Space Studies (COSS) was founded to promote research and teaching related to the social study of Outer Space and our relationship to the cosmos and the planet. It aims to act as a catalyst for serious debate, via talks, exhibitions, film screenings and other events that help us explore the socio-political impact of space science and the wider human relationship to outer space. The Centre is housed within the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, and is directed by Dr David Jeevendrampillai

The event will be in the form of a COSS CATALYST, where our three speakers present bite-size thought pieces on our blog on the theme ‘Earth’. We present an exciting line-up including critically acclaimed Slade artist Simon Faithfull, whose practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object; Nicola Baldwin, an award winning playwright who writes on themes of friendship, space, politics, history and more and is currently working on a piece ‘Woman from Mars’ about astronaut Helen Sharman; Divya M. Persaud, a planetary scientist, writer, and composer. There will then be an online meet-and-greet to find out all about the centre and how you can get involved. The event will run on Microsoft Teams.

Register to take part at https://launchouterspace.eventbrite.co.ukRegistration will close at 7pm on Sunday 4th October. We will then send an event link on Sunday evening to everyone who has registered, to the email given during registration. Please check your emails before the event to log on.  

All attendees are required to mute themselves and turn off their video. If you wish to ask a question, either e-mail it in before the event or write it in the chat function which will be monitored by the chair on the night. Please familiarise yourself with our Virtual Events Code of Conduct

About the Speakers

Simon Faithfull

at UCL Slade School of Fine Art

Faithfull’s practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object – to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Within his work Faithfull often builds teams of scientists, technicians and transmission experts to help him bring back a personal vision from the ends of the world.

More about Simon Faithfull

Divya M. Persaud

at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Divya M. Persaud is a planetary scientist, writer, and composer. With an ongoing focus in remote sensing for planetary geology and geophysics, she is completing her Ph.D. on 3D imaging and visualisation of the Mars surface at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

More about Divya M. Persaud

Nicola Baldwin

at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and UCL Urban Lab

Nicola Baldwin is a playwright, script writer and film maker. Theatre commissions include Royal Court, Royal Exchange, Sheffield Crucible and Bath Theatres. Radio includes live drama for Resonance FM; Seven Scenes and Poppy Q for Radio 3; Tony & Rose, Euston to Whitechapel, Abdication: The Crisis of Wallis Simpson and 5-part drama Have Your Cake for Radio 4.  Nicola also writes for TV and film and is currently developing a feature script. She has won the George Devine award, twice been shortlisted for Susan Smith Blackburn and BBC Audio Awards and is the first playwright to win CSO award from Chief Scientific Officer of NHS England.  Recent work: We The Young Strong about far-right radicalisation of young women in 1930s; Nosocomial a collaboration with NHS Healthcare Scientists; GANOTI (Girls At Night On The Internet) a multi-writer project exploring female sexuality online. Nicola was UCL Urban Lab Creative Fellow 2019-2020, 2020 MGCfutures bursary recipient for Woman From Mars, a new play about astronaut Helen Sharman, and Interdisciplinary Resident at Hospitalfield Arts Centre, Scotland. She is a UCL Visiting Fellow 2020-2021 at IAS, continuing cross-disciplinary collaboration. She will be working with UCL Division of Infection and Immunity on their Precision AMR research initiative, coordinating ‘Rise of the Resistance’ a festival of AMR and healthcare science related performance for May 2021.  

More about Nicola Baldwin