(ORDO NEWS) — The created research group will work on creating a policy in case of possible contact with aliens.
The center at the University of St. Andrews is working to better prepare humanity for potential contact with extraterrestrial civilizations.
The team’s work will build on, but go beyond, existing protocols, making them as realistic as possible and ready to be deployed should a message be received from an extraterrestrial civilization .
Contact protocols were compiled by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) community in 1989 and were last revised in 2010.
They detail how scientists should confirm a possible signal, but there is very little guidance on what to do once a signal is found.
And now, recent studies, as well as real experience with a false signal, suggest that information about the detection may spread before astronomers have time to unequivocally confirm it. In addition, these protocols are not enforceable, which is another problem.
“Science fiction is awash with research on the impact on society after encountering life or intelligence elsewhere,” said center coordinator John Elliot.
“But we need to go beyond thinking about the impact on humanity.
We need to coordinate our expertise not only to evaluate the evidence, but also to consider human social response as our understanding progresses and what we know and what we don’t know is communicated.
And it’s time to do it now.”
The SETI Center, following the discovery at the University of St. Andrew, is tasked with working on a policy gap in existing protocols, as well as considering how scientific communication related to the search for and possible discovery of alien life should be carried out.
Applying research to create such protocols may even go beyond SETI itself.
Contact us: [email protected]