- June 7, 2018
- 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Most of us have pondered communicating with beings from another planet. We hear true stories about humanity reaching out into space in many ways—from Morse code and the Golden Record to radio signals and lasers. We see movies such as Contact and Arrival and wonder what we would do if we found ourselves attempting to respond to a language that is beyond foreign. Doug Vakoch does more than wonder about this potential scenario.
As the president of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), which is dedicated to interstellar discovery and communication, it's Dr. Vakoch's job to work out how humans might respond to a signal from another civilization. He believes that if we receive a signal, we must do more than beam specialized radio frequencies to start a conversation.
In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explores the complexities of composing interstellar interspecies messages and shares his research into the social and cultural aspects of extraterrestrial contact. He discusses the role of altruism in message content and how composing messages containing humanity's most important values and ideas forces us to clarify who we are.
Douglas Vakoch, PhD is President of METI, a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to transmitting intentional signals to nearby stars, as well as fostering sustainability of human civilization on multigenerational timescales-a prerequisite for a project that could take centuries or millennia to succeed. He is an elected member of the International Institute for Space Law, and he serves as chair of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Study Group on Active SETI: Scientific, Technical, Societal, and Legal Dimensions. Prior to founding METI, for sixteen years Dr. Vakoch worked at the SETI Institute, where he was Director of Interstellar Message Composition.