Would Discovering ET Destroy Earth’s Religions?

Sunday June 24th, 2012
1:30 pm
Ballroom A

Buy the Panel Discussion DVD


Doug Vakoch - the director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, as well as the only social scientist employed by a SETI organization. He investigates how one might craft messages that could be transmitted across interstellar space and could serve to permit communication between humans and extraterrestrials even without face-to-face contact. He is particularly interested in how we might compose messages that would begin to express what it’s like to be human.
Robert J. Sawyer - one of only eight writers in history to win all three of the science-fiction field’s top awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He frequently writes about SETI, including in the Hugo Award finalists Rollback and Factoring Humanity. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name. He has published in Science (guest editorial), Nature (fiction), and Sky & Telescope, was a participant in the workshop “The Future of Intelligence in the Cosmos” sponsored jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, is a contributor to DARPA’s “100 Year Starship Project,” and was Guest of Honor at the first-contact conference CONTACT 4 Japan. Buy Robert J. Sawyer SETIcon II Interview DVD
Seth ShostakSeth Shostak - Seth claims to have developed an interest in extraterrestrial life at the tender age of ten, when he first picked up a book about the solar system. This innocent beginning eventually led to a degree in radio astronomy, and now, as Senior Astronomer, Seth is an enthusiastic participant in the Institute’s SETI observing programs. He also heads up the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Committee. In addition, Seth is keen on outreach activities: interesting the public – and especially young people – in science in general, and astrobiology in particular. He’s co-authored a college textbook on astrobiology, and has written three trade books on SETI. In addition, he’s published more than 400 popular articles on science -- including regular contributions to both the Huffington Post and Discover Magazine blogs -- gives many dozens of talks annually, and is the host of the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show, “Big Picture Science.”
Bob Richards - is a space entrepreneur and futurist. He is a Co-Founder of the International Space University, Singularity University, SEDS, the Space Generation Foundation and Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors Odyssey Moon Ltd. and Moon Express, Inc., where he currently serves as CEO. As Director of the Optech Space Division from 2002-2009, Bob led the company's technology into orbit in 2004 and to the surface of Mars in 2007 aboard the NASA Phoenix Lander, making the first discovery of falling Martian snow. Bob studied aerospace and industrial engineering at Ryerson University; physics and astronomy at the University of Toronto; and space science at Cornell University where he became special assistant to Carl Sagan. Bob is an evangelist of the "NewSpace" movement and has been a catalyst for a number of commercial space ventures. Buy Bob Richards' SETIcon II Interview DVD


Andre Bormanis - Andre Bormanis is an American television producer, screenwriter and author of the book Star Trek: Science Logs. Bormanis is most notable for his involvement in the long-running Star Trek franchise, and was the science consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. He also wrote several episodes of the Voyager and Enterprise series, as well as acting as science/technical advisor on the "Next Generation" films. He was also a writer and producer for the CBS science fiction drama Threshold; the CBS drama series Eleventh Hour; the ABC Studios production Legend of the Seeker; and the upcoming Disney Studios production Tron: Uprising. Buy Andre Bormanis' SETIcon II Interview on DVD