Douglas Vakoch | Talking to Extraterrestrials

For over fifty years, astronomers have pointed their telescopes to the sky, looking for signals from advanced civilizations—a project called SETI, the search for extraterrestrial civilizations. So far, they’ve found nothing. But what if there *are* other civilizations out there, but they’re doing exactly what we are doing—simply listening, and not transmitting? I advocate a new approach to making contact called Active SETI, where we don’t simply listen for signals from extraterrestrials, but instead we send powerful, intentional radio signals to other star systems, in the hope of receiving a reply.



Douglas is president of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), a nonprofit research organization that transmits powerful, intentional radio signals to nearby stars, in the hope of eliciting a reply. As an elected member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Institute for Space Law, he explores the scientific and societal dimensions of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Dr. Vakoch’s work has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Nature, and Science, and he has appeared on radio and television programs by the BBC, NPR, ABC, The Science Channel, The Discovery Channel, and many others.