“How to Talk with Aliens”

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The Story

“How to Talk with Aliens”
by Christopher Intagliata [pitched by Clemson University director of research communications Clinton Colmenares]
Science Friday, April 13, 2018

The Pitch

Hi, Christopher.

I just want to put this new science group on your radar. It might be an interesting story or a source of sources.

It’s called SoCIA: Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology. Kelly Smith, a philosophy prof who works with NASA and the Europeans, created it.

The group includes people from NASA, ESA, the private space industry, physics, biology, chemistry, philosophy, history, etc.

Here’s a blurb about the group’s second meeting, coming up in April:

“What will it mean to humanity if we discover life on another planet (or create it in the lab)?  These questions used to be the stuff of science fiction or idle speculation, but a number of scientific developments (the discovery of thousands of planets beyond earth, finding potentially hospitable places for life elsewhere in our solar system, new space missions and observing capacities) are making them increasingly important to address.

“Exploring the many broader issues surrounding life in the universe is what brings together a newly formed, highly interdisciplinary, group of scholars: SoCIA (Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology) for their second conference at the University of Nevada, Reno this April.  Papers will explore issues on a range of topics including the nature of life in general, the theological implications of finding (or not finding) life beyond Earth, our ethical obligations to extraterrestrial microbes, and the difficulties of cross cultural communication with aliens.  Panels on the desirability of human habitation in space and the advisability of attempting contact with intelligent aliens promise to be especially stimulating.”

Hope you’re well.


Clinton Colmenares

Director of Research Communications

Office of University Relations

Clemson University

  1. 919-548-6493

@ClemsonResearch, @ClemsonUniv

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