Baylor University and Office of the Vice Provost for Research Observe World Space Week

October 13, 2017
World Space Week - News Feature
2017 World Space Week

Baylor faculty offer diverse perspectives on the importance and relevance of space to their respective disciplines

WACO, Texas (Oct. 12, 2017) – Baylor University's observance of World Space Week, October 4-10, supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, featured six Baylor faculty members representing the sciences, arts and humanities who offered their reflections on the importance of space both as an important field of research and scholarship and as a profound influence on modern culture.

The six interviews may be viewed here.

In 1999 the United Nations General Assembly first declared World Space Week as an annual global celebration of space science and technology. Since then, World Space Week has focused on the many ways the study and exploration of space has contributed "to the betterment of the human condition."

The beginning and end dates of World Space Week commemorate two significant events in space history that occurred a decade apart:

  • October 4, 1957: The launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made Earth satellite, which is generally acknowledged as marking the beginning of the Space Age
  • October 10, 1967: The signing of the United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

The international celebration of World Space Week is co-organized by the United Nations and the World Space Week Association with the goals of promoting space education, raising awareness of discoveries and technologies fostered by space research, and generating interest among young people in careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. During last year's observance citizens of 86 nations participated in more than 2,700 publicly and privately sponsored events.

Dr. Trey Cade
Director, Baylor Institute
for Air Science
Chris Hansen
Professor & Chair
Film & Digital Media
Joshua Hays
Research Associate
Baylor Institute for
Studies of Religion
Dr. Truell Hyde
Vice Provost for Research
Professor of Physics
Director, CASPER
Dr. Rene Laufer
Associate Research Professor
Dr. Lorin Matthews
Professor of Physics
Associate Director, CASPER
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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) is a stand-alone research center located at Baylor University. CASPER teams conduct research in a number of theoretical and experimental areas and offer both basic research as well as engineering and design opportunities for graduate, undergraduate, technical support and high school students as well as grade school, middle school and high school teachers. For more information, visit


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit


Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute's mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. For more information, visit


The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) assists faculty members from all academic units in identifying, obtaining and managing the funding needed to support their research and scholarship. Internal 'seed' funding, matching grant proposal funding, searchable online funding databases, grant writing seminars, proposal support and trave awards to national funding agencies are only a portion of what is provided by the various units comprising the OVPR. Additionally, the Vice Provost for Research oversees the ethical conduct of research and assists researchers in maintaining compliance with applicable policies, laws and regulations as well as providing support in establishing interdisciplinary / international collaborations and industry partnerships.

The OVPR acts as Baylor's representative in pursuing partnerships and collaborative agreements with entities outside the university. The office negotiates sponsored research agreements with industry on behalf of faculty and pursues research, technology transfer and the commercialization of technology. The OVPR welcomes the opportunity to discuss collaborative research and scholarship pursuits that can advance the academic mission of Baylor University to achieve R1/T1 status.

The OVPR also manages and operates the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), a three-story, 330,000-square-foot facility focused on interdisciplinary/international research, industry/university collaborations, business incubation/acceleration/commercialization, advanced workforce training and STEM educational research and outreach.

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