Imagining Life Beyond Earth: A Conversation With Douglas Vakoch – December 11, 2011
Exploratorium Presents Douglas Vakoch, Author of Civilizations Beyond Earth
December 11, 2011
On Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 2pm, join us at the Exploratorium for a talk by author and psychologist Douglas Vakoch, Director of the Interstellar Message Composition for the SETI Institute. Moderating the conversation will be Claire Pillsbury, the Exploratorium’s Osher Fellowship Program Director. The discussion will cover concepts generated from his new book, Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society. This book is a collection of essays, that provide astonishing predictions about intelligence in our vast universe, along with the possibility of communication with extraterrestrials. The author talk is followed by a book signing and reception, and is included in the price of museum admission. A limited number of copies of Civilizations Beyond Earth will be available for purchase in the Exploratorium Store.
In recent years we have discovered extra-solar planets, water on the moon, and forms of life here on earth that have completely changed our notions of where life can live – as well as what might be possible in the landscape of the universe. Against the backdrop of these discoveries it becomes possible to imagine that intelligent forms of life might exist elsewhere. But if we discovered other intelligent life elsewhere, how would we communicate with them – and what would we say? What would the impact be on human societies?
In fact this has been a scenario that has been considered and explored by a wide range of scholars, anthropologists and sociologists among others. In this book, Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society, Vakoch and his colleague, psychologist Albert Harrison, have edited a collection of essays from individuals representing a range of disciplinary views. This compilation acts as a snapshot on the state of thinking about the idea of intelligence elsewhere, and what such an encounter might mean. By imagining life elsewhere, can we learn more about what it means to be a human being living is these times?
I looked at your name and i was thinking i knew the name!. Welcome to the Science section of the forums Ron, really great to have you here. Seems its your first forum post even though you have been with this project from the very start back in 1999.
I know your name having read some of your articles on the old website several times;
I might add, very good articles!
That does sound like an exciting talk that's going on in the Exploratorium. Wish i could go to the talk, but it would be about an 8,000 mile journey from Ireland to San Fransisco. Maybe someone could video the talk and upload it to Youtube.
Well anyway, don't be a stranger Ron, do call in here to the science section of the forums from time to time. Many people here would love to hear about some of the stuff going on in the Exploratorium. Or just to join in the chat about our favourite topic here, ET life.
Nice to meet you Ron,