Who Speaks For Earth?

“Alexander Zaitsev, Chief Scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, has access to one of the most powerful radio transmitters on Earth. Though he officially uses it to conduct the Institute’s planetary radar studies, Zaitsev is also trying to contact other civilizations in nearby star systems. He believes extraterrestrial intelligence exists, and that we as a species have a moral obligation to announce our presence to our sentient neighbors in the Milky Way-to let them know they are not alone. If everyone in the galaxy only listens, he reasons, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is doomed to failure.

Zaitsev has already sent several powerful messages to nearby, sun-like stars-a practice called “Active SETI.” But some scientists feel that he’s not only acting out of turn, but also independently speaking for everyone on the entire planet. Moreover, they believe there are possible dangers we may unleash by announcing ourselves to the unknown darkness, and if anyone plans to transmit messages from Earth, they want the rest of the world to be involved.”

(via Seed)


  1. Dang. I guess I should stop beaming that repeating loop about Earth being covered with tasty mammals. Seriously, though, I’ve often thought that sending messages out involves a lot of assumptions, starting with the idea that aliens would automatically want to talk to another “intelligent” race and moving to even more dubious jumps like “any race advanced enough for stellar travel would probably be peaceful.” Contact would be catastrophic if we ran into folks that were just like us. Many possible senarios go downhill from there.

  2. You may visit


    to read my early paper

    Sending and Searching for Interstellar Messages

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