How will the media and their audiences respond to the discovery of evidence of extraterrestrial life? Will it be a galvanizing event, or a catastrophic paradigm shift? How long will it take for astrobiologists to prove that what they’ve found is real, and how will varying standards of evidence between science and journalism impact the global public’s response to this discovery? Who would you trust to tell you the truth? And what do we do with that truth, once we have it?
Our panel of experts for this program are Lisa Yaszek, professor of science fiction studies at Georgia Tech, where she researches and teaches science fiction as a global language crossing centuries, continents, and cultures; Andre Brock, Georgia Tech professor and leading scholar of Black cyberculture; and Tony Harris, broadcast journalist and host of the History Channel’s “The Proof is Out There.” This panel will be moderated by Caitlin McShea, InterPlanetary Project Director and Program Manager of an NSF-funded research coordination network on Life’s Origins, for the Santa Fe Institute.
These experts will offer their views on how we think about extraterrestrial life – imagined representations across fiction, microbial life in our solar system, and intelligent life beyond — and how we might respond to its discovery.”
AbSciCon brings the astrobiology community together every two years to share research, collaborate, and plan for the future. This public event is co-organized by NASA, Georgia Tech, and the Santa Fe Institute. If you are in Atlanta, you can register to attend this free event via the AbSciCon website. You may stream this event by following this link.