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Theme: Cosmic Citizenship
Organisers: Rohan Roberts | Lara Matossian
Date: Tuesday 6th October | 12:00pm-12:45pm
Venue: Children's City Mainstage
Price: Free (by advance registration)

The Critical Wonder Serious Awe conference is the Keynote event at the Science Festival  The speakers will present powerful 5-minute talks on the theme of Cosmic Citizenship.


We’ve put a man on the moon, we have rovers on Mars, sent space-crafts to comets, probes to the outer planets and Voyager 1 has just left our solar system. Today, not only do private companies launch spaceships but we are also discovering exo-planets at a staggering rate. What implications will this broadening of our cosmic horizons have on our species – and what impact will it have on our educational system?  


Cosmic Citizenship is characterised by:


  • Moving beyond being merely a global citizen and thinking of oneself as a citizen of the universe.

  • Seeking knowledge about the cosmos.

  • Being future ambassadors for planet earth.

  • Being aware of our connection with the rest of the universe biologically, chemically, and atomically.

  • Taking a larger, cosmic perspective about life.

  • Being aware of the existential threats facing our species.

Meet the Speakers:


Devina Kalwani

Cosmic Revolutionaries: The case for Space Exploration

Humans have always been explorers. The Universe is the final frontier. Devina makes a compelling case for why we should leave the confines of our planet and investigate the vastness of outer space


Simrah Ali

Rights and Responsibilities of the Cosmic Citizen

Most of us are aware of our basic rights and responsibilities. Yet with our species developing rapidly and technology growing at an exponential rate, are these rights really enough?  Simrah’s talk focusses on the rights and responsibilities of the cosmic citizen.


Ritam Anand

Knowledge is Infinite and Problems are Solvable

What does infinite mean? What does infinite knowledge imply? What problems have we solved in the past? What unsolved problems do we have today? Ritam answers these and other fascinating questions.


Zainab Lilak

Ownership, Economics and Governance in the Space Age

What are the limitations of our capitalistic system? What is a resource-based economy? How much should one person be allowed to own when the Universe is our playground? Zainab’s talk focuses on these aspects of our future in space.


Trisha Gunawardene

The Role of Education in creating Cosmic Citizens

The current education system is based on 19th century needs. Trisha’s talk is about the role that schools, principals, policy makers, and exam boards should play in preparing students for the 21st century.


Devika Dahiya

From Global to Cosmic Citizenship

The youth today are encouraged to be global citizens. However, many of them already are. Devika’s talk is about how zooming out and taking a larger perspective helps in a transformation into a cosmic citizen.


Bahar Ferdousi

The Search for Life

There are trillions of stars in our universe. The number of potential planets that might harbour life is enormous. Humans are driven by a need to discover other intelligent life forms. Bahar’s talk considers some of the points we ought to keep in mind in our search for alien life.




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