The easiest academic job is in mathematics. If you’re lucky enough to land a tenured job in that ivory tower in math, your life will be filled with joy. At that point you’re required to be creative, and the work you do is measured by an absolute standard that everyone in your discipline understands. There is no ambiguity, there is no room for personality or psychology. If your work is published, then you can contributed. Congratulations.
Not so for other types of academics.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are supposed disciplines of Philosophy and Economics. In these, almost nothing that is published can be considered as improving the human condition. It’s rare enough that a small group of them agree with definitions or methods, but impossible for the entire community to agree on anything.
Example: Go to any symposium filled with some large number of economists or philosophers, and see if they can even agree as to when coffee hour should be called, or where the next meeting is held. And then hold your breath.
The implications for space colonization should be clear. If there is ever going to be a virtual ivory tower built on the moon, the first line of academics must be in mathematics and the HARD sciences. Results count, at every stage. Slackers are NOT welcome.
Philosophy and Economics, on the other hand, must STAY OUT. Until those academics learn how to communicate using common language, simple concepts, and consistent definitions, there’s no need for the confusion they would sow.
Ask a philosopher what his discipline means for the world, and prepare to sleep. The correct answer is that they “think about thinking.”
Don’t even bother asking the economist, even for fun. It can get ugly.
So the next time you watch a space show, be on the lookout for any academics in the cast. If they teach philosophy or economics, you’ll know you’re watching a fantasy show that’s light on science.