Would humans be able to decode information-rich signals from another planet? Could we create a “universal language” that would be meaningful to an independently evolved civilization? To help answer these questions, on November 10-11 the SETI Institute will convene a multidisciplinary, international workshop at its headquarters in Mountain View, California. Speakers from six countries will draw on disciplines ranging from astronomy and mathematics, to anthropology and linguistics, as they debate the best ways to create meaningful messages. While the two-day workshop is closed to the public, all talks will later be posted on the SETI Institute’s Youtube channel.
For over a half century, astronomers involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have scanned the skies for signals from distant civilizations. Would humans be able to decode information-rich signals from another planet? Could we create a “universal language” that would be meaningful to an independently evolved civilization.
iWhile the two-day workshop was closed to the public, all talks were posted on the SETI Institute’s Youtube channel. On the day following the workshop, several of the speakers summarized the key ideas discussed as part of the SETI Institute’s public weekly colloquium series, held on November 12, at 12:00 noon.
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.
The poster I am sharing today was presented at the Postgraduate Anthropology Conference in Durham in May. The poster was intended as a case study of how the visual evidence can be used and utilised in writing about science and global popular culture.
The poster introduces the science in search for life beyond earth as a case study of a dynamic scientific practice and presents reflections on this practice in global popular culture and mass media. The ‘search’ is a temporal practice that is also culturally biased and takes place in societal context.