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Since the beginning of time, people have gazed up at the stars and wondered: Are we alone in the universe? Now, this question is stoking controversy as the U.S. military continues its release of videos showing “unidentified aerial phenomena”—about which former President Barack Obama admitted, “We don’t know exactly what they are.” It’s time we put together a game plan—preferably one we can all agree on—to guide us when extraterrestrial guests ultimately do arrive. What will contact with a new intelligent lifeform mean for humanity’s future? Can the close encounters Hollywood has imagined help us plot our way forward? And, is it possible that humanity will find unity in how we present ourselves to the new arrivals?
Senior operations specialist Corey Gray of LIGO Hanford Observatory, ASU astrobiologist and theoretical physicist Sara Imari Walker, and Afrofuturist poet, fiction writer, and editor Sheree Renée Thomas visit Zócalo–not to discuss whether there is life out there, but to reflect upon how we should prepare to meet it.
This event is a part of Experience ASU, a month-long series marking Arizona State University’s expansion in California.
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