The 2007 Annual Midwest Regional Conference

"Space and Society: Challenges and Opportunities"



Conference 2007 Event Summary

Our second annual Midwest regional conference was "Space and Society: Challenges and Opportunities". A much more specific event, this conference covered the important issue of the space program and its role in America.

The 2007 conference was a huge growth from its predecessor. The conference was "registration only" and those who wished to attend the entire event were charged $20 for students and $25 for non-students. Over 175 people registered for the conference including 30+ high school students from Lafayette and Chicago. The events ranged from "Does society benefit from space exploration?," to a talk for the search for extraterrestrial life.

Most notable was the keynote event with Bill Nye "the Science guy". Mr. Nye spoke in LOEB Hall to a packed house (over 1000 seats) about topics ranging from global warming to missions to Mars. Purdue Student Pugwash raised about $39,000 for the conference, which was three times more than the preceding year! Half of the funds came from Purdue University while the other half came from corporate sponsors and non-profit donations. The Indiana Space Grant Consortium was the official sponsor. Branching out more strongly to other universities and high school students was a large goal for the 2007 conference as well as bringing in support from non-university sponsors.