Broadcast 1019 (Special Edition)

18 Sep 2008 Michael Michaud
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Michael Michaud, author of "Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials," was our Space Show guest for this in-depth discussion regarding ET contact. We started our discussion by having Mr. Michaud provide us with a broad brush definition of SETI. From there, we jumped into the discussion about validating signals, what type of signals, and could we even recognize a signal as coming from an ET civilization assuming it was out of the ordinary from our perspective. We also spent a significant amount of time discussing the type of response or even if we should make a response to a signal. There were many listener questions about the global interest of SETI, cultural and societal impact of discovering an ET civilization, questions about using humans as the model, and whether ET would behave toward us the way we behave toward each other. You will want to hear these questions and the responses provided by Mr. Michaud. Another topic that we covered was the gap between the physical scientists and the social scientists regarding the questions discussed on this show. This is an important discussion, don't miss it. We also talked about the need for more collaboration and integration between the physical science and social science fields, especially history, but it was mentioned that often the social science research is not as scientifically focused or agenda free as it should be. We talked about planning for the future and the timing of when we here on Earth should be prepared for the discovery of an off-Earth intelligent civilization. Listeners asked what type of priority we should make planning for such an event which may or may not happen. Don't miss Michael's response to this set of listener questions. If you want to follow up on this topic, I urge you to read his book. You can send email questions or comments to me and I will pass them on to Michael. Please use drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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