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Further: Seth Shostak

3 minutes

Imagine alien signals are detected. Here’s what happens next

Planets aren’t rare. Life is surprisingly durable. The more we’ve learned about the Universe, the more the search for extraterrestrial life has shifted from science fiction to serious scientific undertaking. So it’s worth considering how humanity would react if we learned, through some distant but unmistakable signal, that lifeforms elsewhere in the Universe were communicating with us. In this interview, Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Center for SETI Research in California, discusses how first contact is more likely to be perspective-shifting than Earth-shattering.

Director: Stuart Langfield

Producer: Marco Patricio

Website: StuartLangfield.com

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Essay/
Physics
Out of nowhere

Does everything in the world boil down to basic units – or can emergence explain how distinctive new things arise?

Paul Humphreys

Essay/
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Ever since Heisenberg and Tagore, physicists have flirted with Eastern philosophy. Is there anything in the romance?

Zeeya Merali