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Media Contacts:
Frank White - Boston
508.954.6692
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David Beaver - Raleigh
919.271.6605
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Overview Institute Marks its Fourth Year with Revamped Website

Site is now a Resource Portal for the Overview Effect

Boston MA (July 12, 2012) – The Overview Institute, a group of 22 leaders in the areas of space, cognitive science, space art, and visualization science and technology devoted to researching and informing the world of the reality, nature and potential of the Overview Effect, announced today the launch of its new Web 2.0 site. The site is designed to be the most comprehensive source of information regarding the Overview Effect, a phrase coined in the 1987 book of the same name by space philosopher Frank White.

Through numerous interviews with astronauts, White found that, when individuals view Earth from space, national boundaries vanish, divisive conflicts lessen in importance and the need to create a planetary society becomes both obvious and imperative. From the Overview perspective, observers adopted the philosophy that “we are all in this together,” and that the challenge of resolving disputes and protecting our world seems imminently achievable.

The Institute’s refreshed website, www.overviewinstitute.org, features articles and blogs by members of the Overview Group, the Institute’s founders; video content and links to information about the Overview Effect; along with forums where visitors can learn more and voice insights about the Effect.

“Descriptions of the Overview Effect and commentary on it abound throughout cyberspace,” White said. “Until now, however, there has not been a single source of information about this important phenomenon, nor an easy means of accessing this knowledge or sharing related research. Beginning today, we will have that capability embedded in our new site.”

The Overview Institute was founded in 2008 at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Washington, D.C. A group of 22 signatories issued a “declaration of vision and principles” that established the organization. Since that time, the Institute has functioned under the aegis of the Space Frontier Foundation. Planning is under way to establish the Institute as an independent 501(C) 3 nonprofit organization in the near future.

Astronauts have been the only people, until today, to experience the Overview Effect. The Overview Institute cites two recent advances that will communicate this experience to a larger audience. The first is the advent of private spaceflight, which will soon take tens of thousands of people into Low Earth Orbit, allowing them to experience the Overview Effect firsthand.

The second is the maturation of HD digital media, 3-D simulations and virtual reality. These new technologies will soon give Earthbound audiences a taste of the space experience and bring the Overview Effect to millions. The Institute intends to promote the use of all forms of media and simulations to foster a perceptual change in the public to that of a global perspective. The hope is that this will bring about worldwide positive change.

The direct perception of the Earth as a planet moving through the universe can alter one’s worldview in ways that are especially relevant to many current issues and challenges,” said Overview Group member David Beaver. “Private space travel and today’s sophisticated simulation technologies will bring the Overview Effect to millions of people. The Overview Institute will support continued research and public education on the Effect and will provide the rigorous analysis necessary for its effective communication.

Complete List of the Overview Group

Anousheh Ansari David Beaver Dan Curry
Carter Emmart Keith Ferrell Roger Harris
Alex Howerton Barbara Marx Hubbard Ray Idaszak
Kevin Kelley Jeff Krukin Alan Ladwig
David McConville Edgar Mitchell Andrew Newberg
Lonnie Schorer Mike Simmons Doug Trumbull
Rick Tumlinson Frank White George Whitesides
Loretta Whitesides    

About The Overview Institute

In May 2008, 22 leaders in the areas of space, cognitive science, space art and visualization science, and technology convened at the National Space Society’s annual ISDC conference and announced their intention to form The Overview Institute. These experts, now known as The Overview Group, research and educate both the space community and the general public on the nature and psychosocial impact of the space experience.