astrolunch: Seth Shostak (SETI Institute)

Wed, 09/06/202117:00-18:00

TitleLooking for Intelligence in the Cosmos

Abstract: For six decades, a small group of researchers has used large antennas and specialized light detectors in a hunt for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Thanks to private funding, this effort has recently grown to a point where a million stellar systems will have been scrutinized for signals by the end of the decade. Nonetheless, these searches depend on the existence of (1) high intensity transmissions from the extraterrestrials; (2) a fortuitous synchronism in transmitting and receiving programs, and (3) a lack of inhibition on the part of the extraterrestrials to mark their existence and location. An alternative to the signal search – a hunt for the artifacts that very advanced societies might construct – circumvents all of these difficulties, and has the benefit of allowing discovery as a consequence of conventional astronomical research. Given this, what should be our strategy for uncovering other intelligence in the universe?