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Cal Poly Philosopher Patrick Lin Appointed to U.S. National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group

Patrick Lin headshot
Patrick Lin is the director of the
Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group
at Cal Poly.

In a White House announcement Dec. 16, Vice President Kamala Harris, chair of the National Space Council (NSpC), appointed Cal Poly Professor Patrick Lin, Ph.D., to the council’s Users Advisory Group (UAG).

Lin, a full professor in the Philosophy Department and director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, made the following statement about the news:

“I’m honored to be the first ethicist on the U.S. National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group. This appointment is true to Vice President Kamala Harris’ commitment to bring in diverse perspectives to the UAG and to the wider space community and workforce.  

“What I hope to bring to this important group is a new perspective, guided by my ethics experience in outer space affairs, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, bioengineering, security and defense systems, and other relevant technology domains.

“It’s very encouraging to see this administration seek out practical expertise in ethics in this crucial work. I’m excited to serve on the NSpC UAG to help guide the responsible and sustainable development of outer space.”

Lin’s appointment speaks to Cal Poly’s leadership in applied ethics, which includes emerging technologies in frontiers such as the Arctic and outer space. He was recently awarded a grant by the U.S. National Science Foundation to study technical and policy issues in outer space cybersecurity.

The appointment also bolsters Cal Poly’s legacy in aerospace, which includes co-inventing CubeSats as well as producing notable astronauts and aerospace pioneers, such as Victor Glover and Burt Rutan.  Another Cal Poly aerospace alum, Tory Bruno, continues to serve on the NSpC UAG; he is also the president and CEO of United Launch Alliance, a launch service provider that is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space and Boeing Defense, Space & Security.


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