How Should we Respond to Alien Contact?
Members of the UK Seti Research Network (UKSRN) are to launch what they believe will be the largest ever survey of public attitudes towards alien contact at the Royal Society’s summer science exhibition.
The views they gather will help them shape plans for an international protocol that sets the ground rules on how organisations should share news of any signals that are detected; what sense can be made of them; and how, if at all, humans might reply.
“There is absolutely no procedure enshrined in international law on how to respond to a signal from an alien civilisation,” said Martin Dominik, an astronomer at the University of St Andrews. “We want to hear people’s views. The consequences affect more people than just scientists.”
Explores the intriguing question of how people interpret unexplainable experiences, and argues that the media is replacing religion as a cultural authority that offers believers answers about non-human intelligent life.
Credit: Ian Sample, The Guardian