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How Should We Prepare for Aliens to Arrive on Earth?

How Should We Prepare for Aliens to Arrive on Earth? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Illustration by Be Boggs.

A Zócalo/Arizona State University Event
Moderated by Julian E. Barnes, National Security Reporter, New York Times
LOCATION:
ASU California Center
1111 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015

EVENT UPDATE:
As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our community, this event has been postponed. We look forward to hosting you at our new home in the ASU California Center at the historic Herald Examiner in the near future. Thanks for supporting Zócalo, and we hope to see you soon at our events (in-person and online) and on our site.

Since the beginning of time, people have gazed up at the stars and wondered: Are we alone in the universe? Now, this question is gaining more heft as the U.S. military continues its slow drip release of declassified videos showing “unidentified aerial phenomena”—about which former President Barack Obama admitted, “We don’t know exactly what they are.” It’s time we got a game plan together—preferably one we can all agree on—so we know what to do if extraterrestrial guests really do come here. What will the arrival of 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?

A panel of guests who have asked these questions—in science, art and philosophy—visit Zócalo not to discuss whether there is life out there, but 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.