Matter Stream 6: SETI and First Contact / by Trek fm

Seth Shostak.

Each week seems to bring new discoveries of worlds around other stars; and not just the Hot Jupiters of the past decade but small rocky worlds that are more like Earth. We haven’t yet found our twin, but the odds of it being out there are looking better each day.

Long before we began detecting extrasolar planets, the idea that these worlds existed was commonly accepted. The idea that they were home to other civilizations became the foundation of Star Trek. As we now discover—thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope—that planets may be more plentiful than stars it seems inevitable that intelligent life has arisen out there somewhere.

In this episode of Matter Stream we’re joined by Dr. Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute to discuss if and when we might detect other life, how it is likely to happen, and how it will impact our society.