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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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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

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/
History of Science
Spiritual hyperplane

How spiritualists of the 19th century forged a lasting association between higher dimensions and the occult world

Paul Halpern

Essay/
Evolution
Evolution unleashed

Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided?

Kevin Laland