April 12, 2017 17:00 UT

Could there be advanced alien civilizations in the Cosmos? Now imagine if we could send a message directly to them. May seem like science fiction but some scientists are actively investigating the theory and technologies behind just such an effort. Join us for this live AstroArts webinar where we will discuss the Messaging ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (METI) program, and the documentary an Earthling's Quest which is about METI. unnamed EQ 
We will have a wide range of guests for this program including Per Bifrost and Aléxander Ryneus the makers of the documentary on to talk about their work, and Doug Vakoch, the founder of METI. AWB Communications Manager, astronomy journalist and author of Star Trek  Guide to Our Universe , Andrew Fazekas,  will also join the discussion. The program will be moderated by AstroArts founder and director Daniela de Paulis and AWB founder and president Mike Simmons.

This recording is now over, you can watch the video below:

PIA21422 hires e1487792691898During the program we will explore many fascinating topics:
- presentation of the documentary by Per and Alexander;
- viewing the documentary trailer;
- drawing links to METI with Doug Vakoch who is the key scientist in the movie;
- what kind of life could be out there? should we be looking for other kinds of chemistry? how does astrobiology help us in finding other forms of life outside earth? And is it a good to be pro-actively announcing our presence?
- examples of interesting and current sci-fi films or series inspired by our quest for communicating with aliens.

 Images: Top right: Earthling's Quest Documentary by Per Bifrost and Aléxander Ryneus, above center: Artist Impression of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, credit: NASA


Alexander Rynéus and Per Bifrost are documentary film directors and cinematographers based in Sweden. Previous productions they have directed together is "The home and the cavity" and the award winning "Autonomous". Now in production is the documentary "Earthling's Quest", an inside look in the work of SETI and METI. Per and Alexander work is often focused on telling the story trough scenes taking places and a visual approach that has it's background in photography and fiction film. They have a great interest in the meeting between science and storytelling.

Previous films have been shown at national television and festivals such as, Festival De Cannes, CPH:DOX, Edinburg film festiva, lmagine science film festival and won the prize for best documentary at La Guarimba and California International Shorts Festival 2015.

Ignasi Ribas is Scientific Researcher at the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the Catalan Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC). His main research activities are related to exoplanets and to the precise understanding of stars to improve planet detection and characterization techniques. He has authored over 130 refereed publications. He is also actively participating in instrumentation projects, both space- and ground-based, to discover planets similar to our Earth. He is co-investigator of ESA’s ARIEL space mission proposal, Project Scientist of the CARMENES radial velocity instrument, member of the Board and Science Team of the CHEOPS ESA mission, and work package leader of the PLATO ESA mission. He has been a member of ESA’s Astronomy Working Group (2009-2011), President of IAU Division G on "Stars and Stellar Physics" (2012-2015), advisor in the area of Space Research for the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (2011-2013), and member of various evaluation committees. Dr. Ribas is also Director of the Montsec Astronomical Observatory, and Deputy Director of the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC-CSIC).

Douglas Vakoch, Ph.D., is President of METI International, a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to innovative programs in Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and astrobiology. He is an elected member of the International Institute for Space Law, and he serves as chair of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Study Group on Active SETI: Scientific, Technical, Societal, and Legal Dimensions. Prior to founding METI International, for sixteen years Dr. Vakoch worked at the SETI Institute, where he was Director of Interstellar Message Composition.

He is the editor of a dozen books, including Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (2011), Psychology of Space Exploration: Contemporary Research in Historical Perspective (2011), Feminist Ecocriticism: Environment, Women, and Literature (2012), Astrobiology, History, and Society: Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery (2013), Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication (2014), Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos (2014), and (with Matthew F. Dowd) The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages (2015).

Dr. Vakoch serves as general editor of Springer’s Space and Society series, as well as Lexington Books’ Ecocritical Theory and Practice series. His work has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, Nature, Science, and Der Spiegel, and he has been interviewed on radio and television shows on the BBC, NPR, ABC, The Science Channel, The Discovery Channel, and many others.

Daniela de Paulis is an interdisciplinary artist based in The Netherlands. She exhibits internationally, often collaborating with other artists, scientists and radio amateurs. She holds a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy, and a Master Degree in Media Arts from Plymouth University, UK. Since October 2009 she is the first artist in residence at the Dwingeloo radio telescope and ASTRONwhere she developed, together with the CAMRAS and the ASTRON team, a technology called Visual Moonbounce. She is currently a guest researcher at ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis), University of Amsterdam, developing her research on Interstellar Transmissions. Since 2010 she has been collaborating with the international collective Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), as the founder and director of the AstroArts programme. She is currently working on a new project called 'COGITO' for which she is collaborating with the Overview Institute, as well as neuroscientists and philosophers. She has published her work with the Leonardo MIT Journal, Inderscience and Cambridge University Press. She is a member of the permanent SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) committee, the only worldwide forum for SETI scientists. 

Mike Simmons is the founder and president of Astronomers Without Borders. No stranger to organizing global programs, Mike was was co-chair of 100 Hours of Astronomy in the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Mike has been an amateur astronomer involved in public outreach and education for 40 years.