/Do you speak extra-terrestrial?

Do you speak extra-terrestrial?

Key idea: A new international research hub at the University of St Andrews will coordinate global expertise to prepare humanity on how we should respond to ET.

Original author and publication date: University of St. Andrews – November 3, 2022

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: We can barely understand each other. How in the world are we going to understand a message from ET?

From the article:   

What does humanity do when we discover we are not alone in the cosmos? A new international research hub at the University of St Andrews will coordinate global expertise to prepare humanity for such an event and how we should respond.

While we might never learn about the existence of life beyond Earth, or even about another intelligent civilisation, there’s a chance it could be detected sooner rather than later. But are we prepared?

The new SETI Post-Detection Hub, hosted by the Centre for Exoplanet Science and the Centre for Global Law and Governance of the University of St Andrews, will act as a coordinating centre for an international effort bringing together diverse expertise across both the sciences and the humanities for setting out impact assessments, protocols, procedures, and treaties designed to enable a responsible response.

Dr John Elliott, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science of the University of St Andrews and coordinator of the Hub, said: “Science fiction is awash with explorations of the impact on human society following discovery of, and even encounters with, life or intelligence elsewhere.

“But we need to go beyond thinking about the impact on humanity. We need to coordinate our expert knowledge not only for assessing the evidence but also for considering the human social response, as our understanding progresses and what we know and what we don’t know is communicated. And the time to do this is now.“

Scanning signals of assumed extra-terrestrial origin for structures of language and attaching meaning is an elaborate and time-consuming process during which our knowledge will be advanced in many steps as we learn ‘Extra-Terrestrial’.”

The SETI Post-Detection Hub will close a substantial policy gap and will also consider responsible science communication in the social media era.

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