Big Brother on Mars


Great little piece re getting people to go to Mars.

Seems the engineers and physicists are really across the technical aspects of this idea.  Fantastic stuff!

But using the ‘Big Brother’ paradigm to investigate individual and group behaviour of small teams in special environments, is a bit too left field as far as I’m concerned.Big Brother Logo

Now I don’t profess to being a ‘Big Brother’ admirer (try to keep away as much as possible in fact).  Don’t find the intrusion, trivialisation and sensationalism of the human condition that occurs on the program entertaining.  See it on the News and current affairs shows all too often.  Would rather watch something uplifting, educational or inspirational.

However I am interested in some of the really important experiments that have been occurring in various deserts around the world over the past several years exploring exactly how human teams interact in these extreme environments.  Testing how life would really be like on Mars. These experiments unlike what appears to be planned for Big Brother, are scientifically and ethically based.

Remember Ethics?  That aspect which supposedly is the core of all scientific research?  And remember Ethics in Human Research?

I wonder how the ethics of the Big Brother paradigm on mars will be handled.  Suspect it will be overlooked as all efforts will be focused on the technical and physical science brilliance required to  go to Mars.  Seems that all too often the technical sciences are either unaware of or remember to forget Ethics.  Perhaps training in this area should be compulsory in their undergraduate training as it is for all social sciences.  Maybe then there would be more understanding of this critical issue.

I wonder how the principle of informed consent would be handled for the typical ‘Big Brother’ contestant?  Consider the breadth of discussion at the table of the Human Research Ethics Committee considering the proposal – now that would be fantastic TV viewing!

Big Brother


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