Organizing Around Alien Transmissions

“I guess if you were trying to have cultural exchange, you would just keep continuous broadcasting and hopefully the other side does the same. You would at least be able to keep up with each-other, but with (about) a 3 year delay. Like Colonial-America getting British papers.”

Dr. Beth Biller

Food for thought: earth, home to 7.5 billion people, is a pretty complex place. Could you sum up our planet’s highlights into a space broadcast if we were to discover something completely outside of the box — the presence of an extraterrestrial civilization?

If we were to clear the hurdle of translation after confirming an extraterrestrial signal, we already have the technology to send a reply to our closest exoplanets. But the bigger question is, what should we say in return? And how do we craft a reply?

What information and media would you send to best describe life on earth? What would you like know about life on an alien planet? Would you utilize social media and share pop culture, news articles and history, both? What do you think is the most pressing information for our neighbors among the starts to know?

Now, in Transmission, it’s time to talk back.


Dr. Beth Biller – Royal Observatory, University of Edinburgh
Dr. Kathryn Denning – York University, Institute for Science and Technology Studies
Dr. Duncan Forgan – University of St. Andrews, Astrophysicist and Astrobiologist
Dr. Christine Corbett Moran – Postdoctoral Researcher, Caltech
Simon Peter Worden
 – Executive Director, Breakthrough Starshot; former Director of NASA Ames Research CenterDr.
Dr. Aaron Zimmerman – Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Seth Shostak – Senior Scientist at SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence )

Let's Talk to Each Other, too.

Join our cohort of exciting guests from science, academia, theater, and private space initiatives alike to brainstorm what we would say in response to an alien transmission. Join the transmission crew at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest.