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The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence: public lecture

Dr Andrew Siemion will discuss the latest science in the field of astrobiology

On Thursday 11 September, Birkbeck will welcome astrobiologist Dr Andrew Siemion of the University of California Berkeley, who will be speaking about the history of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), the latest developments in the science of astrobiology and the prospects for dramatic advances in the field using the latest generation of world-class telescopes.

Humanity has spent millennia questioning whether there could be intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmic system. For the first time in our history the answer may now be within our grasp. During the last several decades astronomers have discovered that the key environmental factors that gave rise to life on Earth are present in abundance throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Long lived stars, planets, water and complex organic molecules are known to be ubiquitous. Armed with the certainty that life could have developed elsewhere, scientists everywhere are racing to determine if indeed it did, and if so, whether some of that life went on to develop a technological capability similar to our own.

Professor Ian Crawford of Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences said: “We’re delighted to welcome Dr Siemion to deliver this lecture at Birkbeck. Dr Siemion’s research group at Berkeley are at the forefront of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and this is an exciting opportunity to hear about the latest news and developments from the field, as well as what the next few years might uncover”.

Places at the lecture are free, but booking is required. The lecture will take place at 6:00pm on Thursday 11 September in Birkbeck's main building on Torrington Square.