Mention the words ‘alien life’ and some will think of little green men desperate to probe our nether regions.
I’ve never really understood why so many people think this is the first thing extraterrestrials would be looking to do.
Perhaps it’s projection.
Then there are those who will think of UFOs, which is fair enough, given that the US Navy has gone on the record about being unable to identify fast-moving, oblong objects sighted over the years.
Here, though, when we talk about ‘alien hunters’, we mean scientists that dedicate their time to trying to find life out there beyond earth.
In a recent episode of VICE’s The Space Show, they spoke with Lisa Kaltenegger, the Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell.
It’s a pretty decent job perk when your office is Carl Sagan’s old office.
She reveals “how we may be just a few years away from answering humanity’s greatest question: are we alone in the universe?”
(The second greatest question is “are we human, or are we dancer?“)
You won’t find much talk about little green men and probes, but the interview does offer great insight into the efforts being undertaken to identify life as yet undiscovered.
If you’re pressed for time, and want to hear the bits about what contact with other life might look like, you can jump ahead to the 10:30 mark:
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