Belfast, 3rd June 2024 – Renowned philosopher and author Professor AC Grayling will tackle pressing questions about the future of space exploration at the Belfast Book Festival on Thursday, June 6th. He will discuss his latest book, Who Owns the Moon?

Grayling’s book explores what might happen if humans start using and settling on the moon and Mars for business. He wonders if history can make us confident that these efforts will be peaceful and beneficial. By looking at how we’ve managed shared places like the Antarctic and the world’s oceans, Grayling examines if we’ve been good at avoiding international conflicts over them.

He compares these space plans to past events like the gold rushes and the 19th-century Scramble for Africa, showing concerns that competition in space could lead to conflict. Who Owns the Moon? discusses what we might need to do to prevent space disputes from turning into conflicts on Earth.

Sophie Hayles, Director of the Belfast Book Festival, said, “We are excited to have Professor AC Grayling at this year’s festival. His book Who Owns the Moon? explores important questions about space exploration, and it promises to be fascinating for anyone who’s curious about the ethical, political, and social implications of humanity’s next frontier.”

Professor AC Grayling, a leading figure in philosophy, is the Founder and Principal of New College of the Humanities at Northeastern University. His extensive body of work includes over thirty books on philosophy, biography, and the history of ideas. Grayling has also contributed to major newspapers and appeared on BBC radio and television. He has judged the Booker Prize twice, serving as Chair in 2014, and holds numerous fellowships and honorary positions.

Grayling’s upcoming discussion at the Belfast Book Festival is expected to draw attention to the critical issues surrounding space exploration and international cooperation. This event provides an opportunity for attendees to engage with Grayling’s insights on how humanity can navigate the challenges of space exploitation.

Belfast Book Festival runs at the Crescent Arts Centre from 6th – 13th June, and booking is now open at