At the SETI Post-Detection Hub summit, which began recently at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, scientists faced a rather difficult task: figure out what to do if there is a first contact with an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization. If the aliens got in touch tomorrow, humanity would be unprepared, scientists warn. According to the researchers, this attitude needs to be changed as soon as possible.
“Look at the chaos that was created when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the planet. Now imagine that we have made contact with aliens. In that case, we would be headless chickens. We cannot afford to be poorly prepared: scientifically, socially and politically. This event can happen at any time, and we should not lose our composure,” John Elliott, a computer linguist from the University of St. Andrews and coordinator of the Post–Detection Hub project, commented to The Guardian.
While radio telescopes are listening to the sky in search of any artificial signals from deep space, Elliott and his team are already looking into the future and asking a not very pleasant question about what will happen next. Therefore, at the summit, it was decided to instruct Elliott to coordinate an international response to any potential contact with aliens, which would require a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy. The scientist is tasked with creating strategies and response scenarios for preparation.
Unlike many of his peers, Elliott is not afraid that humanity will respond to the calls of an alien civilization. Only this question causes an active debate that divided the opinions of experts. Many argue that refusing to answer about our whereabouts could end in disaster.
“If we have an opportunity to respond, we should not lose it,” the scientist added.
Earlier we reported on how astronaut Scott Kelly was chosen to study the mystery of UFOs.
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