Who decides what we should say to aliens ?
September 10, 2019 | 50 comments
Saying the wrong thing could have dire consequences. Image Credit: Henrique Alvim Correa
An Oxford University survey asked the British public who they would trust to respond to first contact with ET.
Given the lack of a worldwide authority on extraterrestrial communication, it remains unclear who would have the right to decide for our planet how to respond in the event of first contact with aliens.
Keen to learn the views of the British public on such an issue, lawyer Leah Trueblood and astrophysicist Peter Hatfield teamed up to commission an Oxford University survey on the topic.
The results indicated that the most popular opinion, with 39% of the vote, was to leave the decision of how to respond to extraterrestrial visitors up to members of the scientific community.
"It's a small poll but it's reassuring that people feel they can trust scientists to make these big decisions," said Hatfield.
15% of participants voted to leave it up to elected representatives while at the very bottom of the list with 11% of the vote was the option of determining what to do via a referendum.
"Referendums are of course particularly controversial in the UK right now," said Hatfield. "It would be interesting to try this in other countries to see if the results are about the same."
Source: The Guardian
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