Universe Today: Report on the Communicating Across the Cosmos workshop Part 3 Bridging the Vast Gulf

Paul Patton opens the third part of the report by saying: “If extraterrestrial civilizations exist, the nearest is probably at least hundreds or thousands of light years away. Still, the greatest gulf that we will have to bridge to communicate with extraterrestrials is not such distances, but the gulf between human and alien minds. In mid-November, the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California sponsored an academic conference on interstellar communication, “Communicating across the Cosmos“. The conference drew 17 speakers from a variety of disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, archeology, mathematics, cognitive science, radio astronomy, and art. In this installment we will explore some of the formidable difficulties that humans and extraterrestrials might face in constructing mutually comprehensible interstellar messages.”


To read full article go to Communicating Across the Cosmos, Part 3: Bridging the Vast Gulf.

Universe Today Reports on the Communicating Across the Cosmos Workshop

seti-klara-anna-capova-talk-messagesSince it was founded in 1984, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California, has been a principal American venue for scientific efforts to discover evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations.

In mid November, the institute sponsored a conference, “Communicating across the Cosmos”, on the problems of devising and understanding messages from other worlds. The conference drew 17 speakers from numerous disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, archeology, mathematics, cognitive science, philosophy, radio astronomy, and art.

This article is the first of a series of installments about the conference. Today, we’ll explore the ways in which our society is already sending messages to extraterrestrial civilizations, both accidentally and on purpose … full article available from Part I. Communicating Across the Cosmos, Part 1: Shouting into the Darkness.

NASA History Program Office’s Quarterly Newsletter: Second Quarter 2013

nasa-history-office-report-capovaThe NASA History Program Office’s Quarterly Notes & News published in 2013, Volume 30, Number 2.

The Sound of Space workshop report ‘The Sonic Dimension of Outer Space, 1940–1980’ including a note about my presentation is available from the News & Notes: the NASA History Program Office’s Quarterly Newsletter.

‘Astrobiology, history, and society’ book has received a strong review in Choice

I’m pleased to announce that Astrobiology, History, and Society has received a strong review in Choice, a periodical used by librarians to decide which books to acquire.

Outstanding Title!
51-3815QH327 MARC
Astrobiology, history, and society: life beyond Earth and the impact of discovery, ed. by Douglas A. Vakoch. Springer, 2013. ISBN 9783642359828

capova-astrobiology-history-and-society-vakochRecent confirmation of observational data relating to earthlike extraterrestrial planets has resulted in the publication of numerous books commenting and speculating on the probabilities of the existence of other locales where intelligent life might reside. This raises many issues. Do scientists understand with what frequency self-replicating molecules arise? Does evolution tend to converge in such a way as to make intelligent life a frequent likely outcome when life forms? What might be the effect of the discovery of other intelligent life on humankind’s own social fabric, particularly organized religions? Few scientists have the broad expertise to comment on all of these questions. Publishing a collection of essays by specialists bypasses this difficulty. This book is a very well-balanced, detailed analysis of the subject. The individual essays maintain just the right level of uncertainty without descending into personal preferences disguised as good scientific judgment. The long introduction to the history of discussions of extraterrestrials treats both scientific and social views. Chapters relating to the possible social impacts of a successful discovery are especially interesting, raising questions about some of people’s own fundamental philosophic perspectives. This is one of the best books on the subject; it belongs in all college libraries.

Summing Up: Essential All levels/libraries.

K. L. Schick, emeritus, Union College (NY), doi: 10.5860/CHOICE.51-3815CHOICE, 2014 (51:07)
Copyright 2014 American Library Association