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Arts & Life

Connections: Looking for signs of extraterrestrial life

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Are we alone in the universe? China has custom-built the world’s first observatory designed to listen for messages from extraterrestrial life. That country's preeminent science-fiction writer, Liu Cixin, argues that making contact with outside civilizations might lead to our extinction because they may perceive us as a threat. Yet, others say that making contact would lead to advances in science, ethics, culture, and more.

So as scientists continue to develop advanced telescopes and technologies, what kinds of messages should we be prepared to send, if any? What are the implications? And how likely is it that we will make contact at all? Our guests weigh in:

  • Brian Koberlein, senior lecturer of physics at RIT
  • Roger Dube, research professor and director of the Science Exploration Program at RIT
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