I'll come right out and say it: you need to watch this video. It's quite a bit longer than a lot of what we feature here on io9, but the weekend is almost here, and you owe it to yourself to set aside 53 minutes to watch a veritable scientific dream team talk about humanity's future in space.

The video, originally shot back in July at TAM 2011 Las Vegas, is of a panel featuring Bill Nye, astronomers Neil DeGrasse Tyson & Pamela Gay, and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss—and the entire discussion is moderated by Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait. The subjects raised are consequential, the discussions thought provoking, and the opinions of the panelists refreshingly diverse (and often conflicting).

Among the topics addressed:

[Via Bad Astronomy]