Great Silence Library Workshop



Facilitator: Jonathon Keats

Part of Earth at the Crossroads conference held on November 18, 2021.

Enticing new findings suggest that we are probably not alone in the universe. And yet, as Enrico Fermi said for the first time 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.

If you love science, support the SETI Institute! We are a non-profit research institution whose goal is to understand the nature and origins of life in the universe. Donate here:



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