My Father's Contribution to this Work

Written by Frank White on Monday, 07 January 2013.

When I appeared on the Space Show with David Livington last Veteran's Day I failed to mention one important point.  It was my fault, not David’s, and I want to make up for it here. David opened the show talking about Veteran’s Day and honoring our military personnel. I should have taken the opportunity to speak about my father, Frank C. White, who served in the Pacific in World War II, and was called back to active duty during the Korean conflict.

In addition to his service to his country, Dad played an active role in bringing The Overview Effect to publication. He did quite a lot of research for me and helped me cut down the first draft from more than 800 pages to a manageable (and publishable!) length.

At some point during the writing of the book, I realized that my father and I shared another bond: he had always been passionate about aerial photography, and interpreting aerial photos had been part of his job in the Army. After the war, he continued his work in this area, and I guess I absorbed some of his passion for viewing the Earth from afar. In a way, I suppose he was exploring some of the earliest manifestations of “the Overview Effect.”

About the Author

Frank White is the author of The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, first published in 1987 and re-issued in 1998. A member of the Harvard College Class of 1966, Frank graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, earning an MPhil in 1969. He is the author or co-author of eight additional books on space exploration and the future, including The SETI Factor; Decision: Earth; Think About Space and March of the Millennia (both with Isaac Asimov), The Ice Chronicles (with Paul Mayewski), and Space Stories (with Kenneth J. Cox and Robbie Davis-Floyd). He also contributed chapters on the Overview Effect to four recently published books on space exploration, Return to the Moon, Beyond Earth, Living in Space, and Space Commerce.

Frank has spoken at numerous conferences on space exploration and space development. In 1988, he delivered the keynote address at the International Space Development Conference in Denver. In 1989, he spoke at George Washington University to mark the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He also delivered the keynote address at the first Overview Effect Conference in 2007.

In 2006, the Space Tourism Society awarded Frank a "Certificate of Special Recognition."

In 2008, Frank was one of the speakers at a session of the International Space Development Conference that launched the Overview Institute and announced the signing of the Overview Declaration.

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