Ben Ratner’s photo of the StarTalk All-Stars onstage at Worlds Fair Nano. Shown, left to right: Chuck Nice, Allen Saakyan, Doug Vakoch, Seth Shostak.
Ben Ratner’s photo of the StarTalk All-Stars onstage at Worlds Fair Nano. Shown, left to right: Chuck Nice, Allen Saakyan, Doug Vakoch, Seth Shostak.

Looking for Life in the Cosmos: StarTalk All-Stars at Worlds Fair Nano

StarTalk All-Stars onstage at Worlds Fair Nano. Left to Right: Chuck Nice, Allen Saakyan, Doug Vakoch, Seth Shostak. Credit: Ben Ratner.

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About This Episode

Should we be trying to contact extraterrestrials? If so, what should we say? Listen in on our StarTalk All-Stars panel, recorded live at Worlds Fair Nano, as they debate interstellar communication and ponder the benefits and dangers of trying to make contact. All-Stars host and SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak is joined onstage by Allen Saakyan, host of Eureka! Science Comedy podcast, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and Doug Vokach, president of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence). You’ll investigate the progress we’ve made hunting for exoplanets over the last 20 years, including what we know about TRAPPIST-1, the possibilities of alien-megastructures, and why searching for extraterrestrial intelligence is a great practice to dwarf the human ego. Find out how METI differs from SETI, what the “zoo hypothesis” is, and why the vastness of space fuels METI’s critics in thinking the public won’t support the project. You’ll also hear about the type of messages Doug would send, including using motion capture of human movements, and why Seth thinks we should dump the entire internet into a message for extraterrestrials to sift through. Explore new ways to broaden the search for ET, the benefits of the Allen Telescope Array, and the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory. All that, plus we discuss the Pioneer plaque, the Fermi paradox, the Arecibo Observatory, and Doug’s thoughts on why humans really do have something to offer on a galactic scale.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Looking for Life in the Cosmos: StarTalk All-Stars at Worlds Fair Nano.

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