Should We Communicate With Aliens?

What would humans’ first interactions with extraterrestrial intelligence look like? Hollywood imagines a spaceship full of aliens descending upon Earth, demanding to be taken to our leaders. Reality may prove far more prosaic—with any encounter, if and when it comes, taking place via electromagnetic signal. But is contact with extraterrestrial “life” something we should even be seeking? How should we decide whether to respond to a message from outer space, and what should we say?

Join Future Tense for a happy hour conversation about talking to aliens, featuring astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz, astrophysicist Elisa Quintana, and national security writer Shane Harris. The reception and registration will open at 6 p.m., and the conversation will start at 6:30. 

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University


Lucianne Walkowicz@shaka_lulu 
Baruch S. Blumberg/NASA Chair of Astrobiology, Library of Congress 

Elisa Quintana@elsisrad 
Astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA 


Shane Harris@shaneharris 
Intelligence and National Security ​Writ​er, The Washington Post