Earth at a Crossroads: Can Studying Other Worlds Help Us Save This One?



Enticing new findings suggest that we are probably not alone in the universe. And yet, as Enrico Fermi first said in 1950: where is everyone? Are habitable worlds rare, improbable and therefore cosmically precious? Or is life easily overwhelmed by changing planetary conditions? Are technology companies in particular faced with an inevitable “Big Filter” that causes their extinction? These questions link the search for extraterrestrial life to the pressing environmental challenges facing our own civilization, from deadly pandemics to man-made climate change. On November 18, Georgetown University and the SETI Institute will bring together academics, journalists, artists and activists in conversations that explore what the search for alien life may reveal about the future of life on Earth. These conversations will be open to Georgetown students and will be broadcast to the public. They will culminate in a round table intended to draft a proclamation on the state of the earth’s environment and its future potential in a cosmic context.

This virtual event was recorded on November 18, 2021

Watch the roundtables below:

Introduction to the 2021 conference organized by the SETI Institute and Georgetown University.
Bill Diamond, Dagomar Degroot, Sarah Johnson, Jonathon Keats

A planetary perspective: meet the variable L
Moderator: Moderator: Nadia Drake
Panelists: Panelists: Michael Wong, Ann Marie Cody and Nathalie Cabrol

Habitability at home
Moderator: Paul Voosen
Panelists: Ellen Stofan, Chris House and John Brooke

Habitability in the solar system
Moderator: Michael Wall
Panelists: Kenda Lynch, Abigail Fraeman, Morgan Cable

Habitability beyond
Moderator: Ross Anderson
Panelists: Sofia Sheikh, Sara Walker and Jill Tarter

Habitability at the Redux house
Moderator: Alexandra Witze
Panelists: Alice Gorman, David Grinspoon and Victoria Herrmann

Planetary protection: a student perspective
Panelists: Clara Ma, Zach John, Mia Kuchner, Owen Chbani

Performance of the SETI Artist-in-Residence Program
Presenter: Bettina Forget
Performers: Jordan Holmes (alias Dxtr Spits), Felipe Perez Santiago, Alfred Darlington (alias Daedalus)

Library of the Atelier du Grand Silence
Facilitator: Jonathon Keats




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