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Press Release

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

Contact: Patrick Lin, Director, Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group

[email protected]

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA — 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.

Portrait of Patrick Lin
Professor Patrick Lin

“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.

About Cal Poly

Cal Poly is a nationally ranked public university located in San Luis Obispo, California, and known for its Learn by Doing philosophy. Each year about 22,000 top-tier students come to Cal Poly to put knowledge into action, taking their learning outside the classroom as they prepare for careers in areas such as engineering, agriculture, science, business, humanities and the built environment. Cal Poly’s hands-on approach, small class sizes and close student-faculty mentorships result in graduates who are Ready Day One to impact their communities, California and the world. Visit