Talk: „Hello Universe!“ – Letters to extraterrestrials

Keynote at the 10º Encontro Internacional de Grupos de Pesquisa: convergências entre arte, ciência, tecnologias & realidades mistas

On 6 October 2021, 14.00 to 15.00 h Brazil time

What do the messages we have sent to extraterrestrials tell us about ourselves? I will look at two famous notices sent from Earth to possible extraterrestrials: the Arecibo Message and the Voyager Golden Records. The Arecibo Message radio wave signal was sent from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on November 16, 1974. Voyager 1 and 2 launched in 1977 to explore the outer reaches of our solar system and interstellar space. They each carry a gold record with music, ambient sounds from Earth, and 116 images of our planet and solar system. These messages are full of assumptions about our human conceptions of life, culture, universal intelligence, and technological civilizations. By becoming aware of the assumptions that go into these messages, we can learn a lot about ourselves as human beings and the general conditions of communication.