Are we alone in this vast universe? Some think that’s highly unlikely. With new technologies joining the search, NASA estimates we’ll find definitive evidence of aliens within 20 to 30 years. Which raises the vital question: And then what? Will the news inspire jubilation, despair, or fear? Will aliens be seen as gods or interlopers? Evidence of alien life will provoke fundamental questions about our place in the universe–not just about who they are, but also who we are. Join astronomers, astrobiologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and linguists as we ponder these issues.
PARTICIPANTS: Kathryn Denning, David Kipping, Karen Lewis, and Marcelo Magnasco
MODERATOR: Wendy Zukerman
MORE INFO ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND PARTICIPANTS: www.worldsciencefestival.com/programs/alien-contact-happens-next/
This program is part of the BIG IDEAS SERIES, made possible with support from the JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION.
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00:00 – Participant intros
1:50 – How are scientists searching for intelligent life?
5:10 – Sending messages into space
6:59 – What kind of alien signal are we likely to detect?
9:00 – Would we be able to interpret an alien signal?
13:44 – What is the closest that intelligent life could be to Earth?
16:25 – How would we know if far away transmitting civilizations still exist?
20:00 – How well can we communicate with dolphins?
24:19 – Dolphin research film
26:27 – Understanding dolphins vs. understanding aliens
28:44 – What are the steps to understand an alien language?
38:02 – What happens on earth after we contact alien life?
44:40 – “War of the Worlds” broadcast controversy and damage
46:40 – Will the discovery of aliens unite humanity?
50:39 – What if we’re alone in the universe?
53:10 – Could AI help us find aliens?
54:20 – Using our children to bridge languages and species
– Produced by John Plummer
– Associate Produced by Laura Dattaro
This program was recorded live 6/3/18 at the World Science Festival and has been edited and condensed for YouTube.