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Douglas Vakoch

Douglas Vakoch(born June 16, 1961) is an American search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) researcher, psychologist, and president of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), a nonprofit research and educational organization devoted to transmitting intentional signals to extraterrestrial civilizations. On February 13, 2015, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) said that it is a convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Vakoch advocates ongoing transmission projects, arguing that this does not increase risks of an alien invasion as suggested by British cosmologist Stephen Hawking. He has participated in SETI, where he was director of Interstellar Message Composition, Vakoch founded METI International. He has edited a book in SETI, astrobiology, the psychology of space exploration, and ecocriticism. He is general editor of two book series in ecocriticism and in the intersection of space and society. Vakoch has appeared widely on television and radio as a commentator on SETI and astrobiology. He is a professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).

Early life and education

Douglas Vakoch grew up in rural Minnesota. [1] He created his first interstellar message as a high school student-a series of two-dimensional pictures that built on a message transmitted from Arecibo Observatory in 1974 . [2] He earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative religion from Carleton College , a master’s degree in history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame , and a PhD in psychology from Stony Brook University . [1] He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University before becoming a member of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. [1]

Active Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Active SETI)

Vakoch argues that in order to make contact, a project called active SETI . [3] He has been called “a prominent voice in favor of active SETI,” [3] “the most prominent METI [messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence] proponents,” [4]and “the man who speaks for Earth.” [5] On February 13, 2015, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and its annual convention, held in San Jose, California. [6] [7]“[W] e should expand our strategies, so we are not only passively listening, but also transmitting intentional, information-rich signals,” Vakoch said at the AAAS meeting, adding that “[w] ith recent detections of Earth-like planets in the liveable zones of other stars, we have natural targets for such transmission projects. ” [8] Vakoch thought that transmitting intentional signals does not increase the risk of an alien invasion, contrary to the importance of British cosmologist Stephen Hawking , [9] because “[a] ny civilization pick up our accidental radio and TV leakage. ” [10] [11] At the same AAAS meeting, astrophysicist and science fiction writerDavid Brin argued against this “barn door excuse” [6] [11] [12] and Brin contended that there should be no transmissions without international discussion. [13] [11] Vakoch and Brin had a second debate at the annual ideacity conference in 2016, held in Toronto. [14] [15] [16] Vakoch also questions the logic of extraterrestrials traversing interstellar space to secure resources from Earth. [17] Vakoch told the Associated Press that SETI is an “attempt to join the galactic club,” [18] and argues that “it’s a reflection of the natural growth that you see in science”[19]and “a reflection of growing up as a discipline.” [10]

Vakoch has argued for international consultation about transmission, [11] [20] and he suggests avoiding “or-or” thinking by continuing international discussions even after beginning to transmit. [6] [12] In an October 2015 letter in Nature Physics , he advocated the use of scientific peer review to determine whether or not to schedule transmission for public supported observatories, [21] [22] a process that American astrobiologist Dirk Schulz -Makuch and Centauri Dreams ‘ s Paul Gilster argues is inadequate. [23] [24]

“Vakoch told the Business Insider ,” What is the most important reason to add to this strategy? let us make contact. ” [25] He suggests that this initiative from humankind may be prerequisite for making contact. “We’ve always had the ability to communicate with each other,” he said , adding that he said ” Monitor the Psychology” , adding “[t] hat is not at all obvious to me.” [3] Instead, he suggests that advanced extraterrestrials may be akin to “hyperintelligent cats-they know we’re here,and the goal of sending messages is to intrigue extraterrestrials enough to respond. [27] Vakoch suggests that sending intentional signals can test the Zoo Hypothesis , which assumes that extraterrestrial intelligence may be monitoring Earth, but they are waiting for a clear indication that humans wish to communicate. [28] He notes that extraterrestrial civilizations are far from Earth, an exchange of messages could be communication across generations. [29] Vakoch says that the financing of interstellar transmissions requires supporters who take a long-term perspective. [30]

Vakoch advocates initial active SETI projects that make use of Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, [31] during the gaps in the schedule for radar radar studies of recently discovered asteroids. [6] [13] [11] He proposed targeting stars located within 25 parsecs of Earth, [12] and he advocates transmitting repeatedly to “a set of local stars over the course of several months or years.” [8] Vakoch participated in radar studies of the near-Earth asteroid 2015 HM10 using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia in conjunction with the NASA Deep Space Network . [32][33]

When astronomers announced in August 2016 the discovery of a possible Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of the near future of our solar system, Proxima Centauri , Vakoch emphasized that if inhabited, the star would close proximity to Earth would allow a round trip exchange of messages with extraterrestrials in less than nine years, telling CNET “[w] e could have several back-and-forth exchanges with any civilizations over the course of a human lifetime.” [34] “[W] e could finally have a real conversation with an alien, with the usual give-and-take that happens when we meet a stranger,” Vakoch told WIRED , adding “In less than a decade, we Centaurians. “[35] Vakoch responding to theories that planets orbiting red dwarf stars like Proxima Centauri would not be suitable for sustaining life because they would be tidally locked, with one side of the planet “[o] no side of the planet would be scorched, while the other side would be perpetually frozen.” [34] Vakoch argued that “new models of exoplanet atmospheres and oceans may be distributed around the world even if it is still around the world.” Even if the newly discovered exoplanet around Proxima Centauri is tidally locked, it could still be prime real estate for life. ” [34]Nevertheless, Vakoch noted challenges to the habitability of this planet, saying “[t] he biggest downside of Proxima Centauri for alien hunters is that it’s a flare star, dramatically and unpredictably varying in the race of a few minutes to its magnetic activity. ” [36]

Vakoch made similar comments about the potential habitability of exoplanets orbiting another red dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1 , noting “[b] ecause these planets have an orbit so close to the TRAPPIST-1 star, they are thought to be subject to the phenomenon of synchronized rotation. ” [37] He added that heat could be lost on planets, drawing a parallel to Earth: “[w] hen the Sun sets at night on the Golden Gate Bridge, I do not worry that San Francisco Bay will freeze.” [37]

Vakoch’s edited book Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CETI) , [38] based on papers presented at sessions chaired at the 2010 NASA. Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon), [39] includes a section dedicated to Active SETI. [40]

After sixteen years at the SETI Institute, [41] where he was director of Interstellar Message Composition, [2] [41] Vakoch founded METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), [42] a nonprofit research and educational organization. [2]

Passive SETI

In 2010, Vakoch was one of the leaders of the Dorothy Project, a multinational effort launched by Japanese astronomer Shin-ya Narusawa to observe several stars for the world’s other warnings, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Project Ozma , the first modern-day search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). [43] Telling The Washington Post About the Dorothy Project Observations, Vakoch said “[w] hat this weekend really is making the process of making it possible to track a SETI signal around the globe,” and he added “[i] The signal is detected, it has been confirmed and followed, and we are setting up a network to do that. ” [43]

Vakoch participated in the earliest observations of the anomalous star KIC 8452852 , also known as Tabby’s Star, which some astronomers have hypothesized may be orbited by an alien megastructure. [44] The observations were conducted at optical frequencies by METI’s Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama, [45] and also at the SETI Institute’s Radio Frequencies ‘ Allen Telescope Array in the United States. [46] [47] [48]The hypothesis of an alien megastructure around KIC 8462852 is rapidly crumbling apart, “he said, adding” [w] e found no evidence of an advanced civilization beaming intentional laser signals toward Earth. ” [49] Vakoch argued que la name Tabby’s Star is sexist Because stars named after-male astronomers-have not used Their first names. [50] Instead, Vakoch Suggests That KIC 8452852 shoulds be Referred to as Boyajian’s Star , in recognition of Tabetha S. Boyajian , who led the team discovering the anomalous dimming. [50]

When a candidate SETI signal from the direction of the star HD 164595 was first announced by Russian astronomers, Vakoch told CNN that “[t] he signal from HD 164595 is intriguing, because it comes from the vicinity of a sun-like star, and if it’s artificial, it’s strength enough that it was clearly made by a civilization with capabilities beyond those of humankind. ” [51] Given the strength of the signal detected from Russia, Vakoch said, “We can determine how advanced the transmutting civilization is if the signal is artificial, using the Kardashev Scale.That hypothesizes Type I, Type II, and Type III civilizations: “If the signal from HD 164595 is from a civilization that is radiating out electromagnetic signals in all directions, that takes up tremendous energy – the energy of an entire star, represented by a Type II civilization, “Vakoch told CNET . [52] “If it’s focused on Earth, then the civilization does not need to be that great of a capability. It could be a Type I, “Vakoch said. [53] “Humanity is currently somewhere between Type 0 and Type I,” he explained. [52]Vakoch said that “[i] n the past, plans for SETI follow-up observations have focused on confirmation of the original signal, seeking a repeat signal at the same frequency. This video is only available for HD 164595. ” [54] Vakoch said that METI’s optical SETI observatory in Panama would be able to observe HD 164595 “about weather permitting, [55] telling CNN that they would be” searching for any laser pulses that might be a beacon from advanced extraterrestrials. ” [51] Because the Panama Observatory is designed to avoid false positive, “[I] f we get a signal there, that’s a really strong sign we’ve really discovered extraterrestrial life,” Vakoch said, adding “[n] ow, we do not expect to find that, but we’re going to do our due diligence. This is the sort of thing that, internally, we do all the time. ” [56] While the original signal of the direction of HD 164595 was detected at radio frequencies,” Vakoch argued for expansion of the other frequencies: ” really a signal from extraterrestrials, we’d like to check out the electromagnetic spectrum as we could. ” [51]

Vakoch was not optimistic about detecting a signal from HD 164595 but he said that follow-up observations help prepare for detecting a real signal: “I think it is likely that there is no indication that it is, but it provides a critical preparation. For a day we can really discover intelligence out there, “he told New Scientist . [57] Vakoch argues that replication of a putative SETI signal is essential for confirmation, and the lack of such replication means that Wow! signal have little credibility. [58] [59] “Without corroboration from an independent observatory, a putative signal from extraterrestrials does not have a lot of credibility,” he told CNN .[51] He urged that HD 164595 should not be treated as a candidate without further confirmation: “Assuming we do not find any evidence of a transmitting civilization as we conduct follow-up observations, the worst outcome would be to turn HD 164595 in another Wow signal – seen once, never confirmed, but lurking in the imagination as perhaps a message from another world. Unless we can observe another similar signal from the vicinity of this star, we need to dismiss the May 2015 signal as a spurious result, and not wishfully hope it was really from ET. “ [60]

When two Canadian astronomers argued that they were discovered 234 extraterrestrial civilizations through analysis of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database, Vakoch doubted their explanation for their findings, noting that it would be unusual for all of these stars to pulse at exactly the same frequency. were part of a coordinated network: “If you take a step back,” he said, “that would mean you have 234 independent stars that are all the same.” [61] “The general mindset in SETI is that, before you say it’s an extraterrestrial intelligence, you can think of it very creatively about the natural explanations might be I think it’s way too early in the game to jump to the conclusion that it’s extraterrestrial intelligence, “Vakoch said.[62]

When astronomers announced in January 2017 that the fast radio burst FRB 121102 comes from a dwarf galaxy almost three billion light years Earth, Vakoch said that METI was using the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama to search for pulsed laser briefs from the same target. “I’m not holding my breath, and I’m not expecting to find any evidence of ET, but the follow-up is straightforward, so we’ll make the observations out of due diligence,” he told CNET , adding “[ s] o far we’ve found nothing that looks like the telltale sign of extraterrestrial technology. ” [63]

After the star Wolf 1061 was announced to be orbited by three “super-Earths,” including Wolf 1061c that lies in the star’s livable zone, Vakoch reported that the laser pulses from its optical SETI observatory in Panama. [64] “[T] he fact that there is a similar earth-like planet in the habitable zone,” he told Gizmodo. . [65] “So far, we’ve found no indications of advanced technologies in this promising exoplanet just 14 light-years from Earth,” he said. [64]

When China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) went online, Vakoch told CNN that “China’s latest telescope will be able to look faster and further than past searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.” [66] He told The Telegraph that FAST is a “game-changer in the search for life in the universe.” [67] “FAST’s innovative design and huge collecting area give it an unsurpassed speed and sensitivity, making it vital to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the coming decades, “Vakoch told Xinhua , adding”[68] The telescope will study the issue of hydrogen to understand the origin of the universe, and Vakoch says that “[b] ecause of FAST’s incredible sensitivity, it will be able to flow into the hydrogen distribution even in far flung galaxies.” [66] He expected that FAST would lead to “a dramatic increase in the number and variety of pulsars discovered.” [68] Vakoch also noted the limitations of the telescope, saying “FAST may help explain the origin of the universe and the structure of the cosmos, but it would not provide warning of Earth-bound asteroids that could destroy human civilization.” [66]

Vakoch suggests that the detection of extraterrestrials in a standard SETI scenario may be less clear-cut than that assumed: “I think the assumption that one day someone is going to announce that we’ve discovered extraterrestrial intelligence, and now the world knows, is fallacy, because there’s a lot more ambiguity in the process. ” [69] “Unlike Hollywood movies, where you get a quick ‘yes or no’ about possible signal from aliens,” Vakoch told Universe Today , “the real SETI confirmation process takes some time. It’s easy to think that we are going to get on the phone with an astronomer at another location, and we’re all set. But even when they are willing to observe, they may face technical limitations. ” [70]He also assumes it can take some time to decode any message: “I do not think we’re going to understand it right now,” he told ABC News . [71] “There is going to be a lot of guesswork in trying to interpret another civilization,” he told Science Friday , adding that “[i] n some ways, any message we get from an extraterrestrial will be like a cosmic Rorschach ink blot test . ” [72]

Vakoch contends that it is essential to expand an understanding of SETI beyond the technology needed to re-derive assumptions about the nature of intelligence, which was the motivation for the METI workshop, “The Intelligence of SETI: Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence, ” [42] held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 18, 2016. [73] ” By studying the variety of intelligence found on earth, “Vakoch said,” we can gain new insights into sending messages to life on other planets. ” [74] He called for “rethinking what SETI means,” saying “what we have not caught up with is the real understanding of intelligence.” [75] Vakoch told the International Business Timesthat “[i] n this new approach, we’re putting the intelligence back into SETI.” [75] He argues that the fact that extraterrestrial intelligence can rely on different human beings adds to the complexity of communication interspecies. [76] [77] [78]

Interstellar message design

Vakoch “leads an international group of scientists, artists and scholars from the humanities, as they ponder how we could communicate what it’s like to be across the vast distances of interstellar space.” [79] He advocates creating interstellar messages that begin with concepts shared by humans and extraterrestrials, such as basic mathematics and science and building on these shared concepts. [80] He argues that while mathematics and science provide the best starting point for interstellar messages, it is possible that extraterrestrial mathematics and science may vary significantly from human mathematics and science. [58]He notes that both Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries provide internally consistent frameworks for understanding the world, but they vary in their foundational assumptions. [78] [30] Vakoch provided an overview of interstellar message design at the 2012 TEDx Nashville. [27]

In contrast to the images included on the Voyager Golden Record , the Vakoch suggests that we should be honest about human frailties. [81] [82] [83] He suggests that the most informative things are humankind as they come to an advanced civilization. [79] [80] [84] [76] Vakoch argues that if we contact other civilizations, they will likely be more likely to be dead or millions of years old than humanity’s civilization, meaning the extraterrestrial civilization would have greater stability. [85]“Perhaps it is not the beauty of our symphonies that we are set apart from extraterrestrials, our moral perfection – living true to our ideals of altruism. , our fears, our unknowing – and yet a willingness to forge ahead to attempt Contact in Spite of this, “Vakoch Told The Psychologist . [77]

Vakoch calls for increasing the range of people participating in interstellar message design, and he has a workshop in Paris in 2002 on the interface of art and science in interstellar messages. [86] Speaking to Reuters on the day of the meeting, he said, “Today, we are going to be able to learn something about our aesthetic sensibilities. , to another intelligence? ” [86]

He chaired a follow-up meeting in Paris in 2003 called “Encoding Altruism,” focusing on communicating altruism in interstellar messages. [87] [88] [29] Vakoch stressed that the goal of the workshop was not to present an image of humanity as unambiguously altruistic. [89] “Vakoch told Nature , adding” There was no poverty, or war, or the nuclear mushroom cloud. “We’re trying to start a tough dialogue about how we describe the breadth of human experience. ” [90]

Vakoch also led meetings attended by anthropologists and sociologists, [91] and he advocates interstellar messages that capture the diversity of human cultures. [92] [76]

In 2009 Vakoch launched an internet-based project called Earth Speaks to collect messages from people around the world that they would like to send to extraterrestrial intelligence. [93] [94] “One of the strongest themes we see in ‘Earth Speaks’ is a concern with your current environmental crisis,” Vakoch said. [95] Among the messages gathered in the Earth Speaks project, “The loudest message is people asking for help,” Vakoch told The New York Times . [96]“We gathered messages from people in over 80 countries around the world, and we are supposed to say that , and a lot of the greetings are just basic greetings of ‘Hello, from the people of planet Earth,’ “Vakoch told the Observer, adding that” [o] another civilization beyond Earth, it will be so small compared to the differences between ourselves and the extraterrestrials.The exercise of preparing for a reply seems to be more than that process of seeing our commonalities. “[97] Vakoch said that Earth Speaks messages in the Voyager Golden Record insofar as the Earth Speaks messages included negative depictions of life on Earth. [98] The Earth Speaks Project La Tierra Habla . [99]

Vakoch suggests that even if we never make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, the process of creating interstellar messages is valuable, [100] for example, by encouraging people to reflect on what they most care about., [101] [98]

He judges the proposal to send extraterrestrials to “digital data dump” of the full contents of the internet as “ugly,” [101] though he says there is no harm in doing this unless interstellar communication is a form of commerce, in which case we can not wait for the future. [102] In contrast, Vakoch advocates sending interstellar messages that convey aesthetic concepts. [103] His own interstellar posts have been exhibited at the Chabot Space and Science Center [104]and at the European House of Photography, the latter in his @rt outsiders 2003 exhibit on interstellar messages about altruism titled “Self Sacrifice.” [105] When Asked by Science magazine what he Message Would want to send to extraterrestrials, Vakoch Responded, “I would want to ask an extraterrestrial:? What do you care about What makes you happy” [106] [107]

Societal impact of SETI and astrobiology

Vakoch argues for the importance of identifying analogues for making contact with extraterrestrials, because humans do not have direct access to extraterrestrial civilizations in advance of contact. [58] He suggests that the challenges of decoding the Rosetta Stone may provide insights into the challenges facing SETI scientists if they detect an information-rich signal from another civilization. [58] [108] [109]

Vakoch and Yuh-shiow Lee conducted a survey to assess people’s reactions to receiving a message from extraterrestrials, including their judgments about likelihood that extraterrestrials would be malevolent. [110] “People who view the world as a hostile place to think extraterrestrials will be hostile,” Vakoch told USA Today . [111]

Vakoch says the majority of people already believe in the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. [112] Vakoch argues that the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence would not diminish the uniqueness of humankind. [58] [79] [113]Vakoch suggests that learning about an extraterrestrial civilization would increase people’s self-understanding. [114] He argues that it is not likely that the discovery of extraterrestrial life will impact religious beliefs, [115] and he doubts that humans would be inclined to adopt extraterrestrial religions, [116] telling ABC News“I think religion meets the needs of human beings, and it is more likely to come back to me,” he added, “[i] f there are incredibly advanced civilizations with a belief in God, I do not think Richard Dawkins will start believing. ” [117]

Vakoch has published a number of books that discusses topics in astrology and multiple perspectives, and these books have been reviewed in a number of journals. The review journal Choice describes Vakoch’s Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos [118] as “a fascinating speculation in the human condition and what makes it unique or perhaps not unique among all the (hypothetical) intelligences in the universe” and noted that ” [119]highly recommending it for” [a] ll academic, general, and professional readers. ” [119]The same newspaper said Vakoch and Matthew F. Dowd’s The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Life Through the Ages [120] that “[m] ost chapters are accessible to general readers, while some are at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level. ” [121] and recommended the book for” [a] ll library collections. ” [121] Vakoch and Albert A. Harrison’s Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society [122] was recommended for “[a] ll readers” by Choice . [123] Vakoch’s Archeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication ,NASA was selected by the Library Journal as a “notable government document” of 2014, saying “[w] hile this is serious scholarship, general readers will appreciate accessible writing.” [125] DttP, Documents to the People wrote that “[t] hese authors have tackled a somewhat controversial subject in a very serious and non-condescending manner, which will be much appreciated by the reader.Archaeology , Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication is highly recommended for anyone interested in learning about the human quest to communicate with alien civilizations. ” [126] The same book was cited as an example of a budget by Senator Tom Coburn . [127] Archeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication included a passage that several news stories had taken place. [128]

“Are we alone in the universe? If not, then what might that mean?” Begins the Journal for the History of Astronomy ‘s review of Vakoch’s Astrobiology, History, and Society [129] and continued by Saying “[t] His fascinating volume offers a history of what Western cultures-have thought about thesis issues, sampling of current work by scientists in astrobiology, and a group of probing essays on how human societies might respond if / when first contact with extraterrestrial life (ETL) or intelligence (ETI) would be useful source for scientists, historians, anthropologists, and many other disciplines that concern themselves with these two broad questions. ” [130]

Vakoch serves as the general editor of the Space and Society series, a scholarly book series published by Springer. [131]

Space exploration

Vakoch has contributed to the study of space exploration. The Journal of Military History in the field of Psychology of Space Exploration: A Review of Contemporary Psychology and Space Exploration: “[f] or those interested in an overview and synthesis of some of the key issues in the psychology of space exploration, this book provides a great introduction, “adding that” [m] ost interestingly to the term, “many of the chapters engage the history of the psychology of space exploration well, most notably in the book’s first two chapters.” [132] [133] Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine observed that “[t] his book is unique in that it places a lot of interest in the subject of human behavior and performance in space perspective” and concluded that “[i] t It is certainly worthwhile reading for those directly involved in the next phase of human exploration of space who will witness this phase of the confines of Earth. ” [134] Isiswrote that “[t] his diverse and thought-provoking collection represents an important departure for the NASA History Series, a turn of works focused on machines, missions, and management structures to a concern with the smaller group of space sciences interested in human subjects “” “” “” “” As noted in this paper, “” “” The importance of the book “,” The importance of the book ” [135]

The Journal of Mind and Behavior noted that Vakoch’s follow-up book On Psychological Perspectives on Human Spaceflight includes several chapters that suggest that astronauts would have to travel to Mars and Saturn, as compared to orbiting Earth or traveling to the Moon. [136] [137]In an interview Vakoch explained the implications of this issue: “On missions to Mars, where greater autonomy will be expected from astronauts because of the greater distances, ground staff should expect that their own roles will change over the course of the mission. They are prepared, they may not be able to do so because they are not able to do so because they have not done so. [138]

Vakoch explored the positive impact that space exploration can have on astronauts through the Overview Effect : “At its core, the Overview is a new perspective on life on Earth, by viewing Earth from a distance , astronauts, astronauts, astronauts, astronauts, astronauts, astronauts, astronauts, astronauts. [138] He also drew parallels between the effects of extraterrestrial intelligence and the impact of extraterrestrial intelligence: “It has often been said that it is possible to detect a signal from an extraterrestrial intelligence. The differences between terrestrial crops that seem so crucial today will seem much less important The differences between Us and Them across cultures here on Earth will seem trivial, when we compare our human commonalities with a new alien Them that evolved independently on another world. “Where do you go from here?” “Where do you go from here?”[138]

Vakoch told WIRED that today’s astronauts need some astronauts: “Historically someone with the ‘ right stuff ‘ was a tough, individualistic person who could explore an unknown frontier with great courage and certainty …. Now, you not only need to be a self-sufficient individual, you need to be able to work with astronauts from other cultures on the International Space Station …. If you’re an American astronaut, very often you’ll be working with people who do not put as high an emphasis on individualism as the United States does, there is a greater need for interpersonal and intercultural sensitivity among astronauts. ” [139]“In the early days of space exploration, it really was important to just have the ‘right stuff.’ If you do not get along very well with people, you can suck it up for a couple of weeks, “he told Inverse , adding” [b] ut when you’re talking about a mission that’s going to last for a year, and you do not have a safe way to wind, that’s going to be a big problem. ” [140] “The expectation that astronauts have the right stuff is a big barrier,” Vakoch told The Verge , adding that “[t] hey do not want to admit faults, nor do they want to lose their status.” [141] He said that astronauts on long-term missions beyond Earth’s orbit will face new challenges, telling NOW.SPACEthat “there’s going to be a lot of boredom on a trip to Mars.” [142] “Boredom and feeling separation between Earth and Mars and back,” he told Nightsky . [138]

The Mars One plane to send settlers was one way Mission adds additional stresses for astronauts, Vakoch Told Discovery Channel Magazine “Mars One is revolutionary Because It overcomes one of the greatest challenges faced by past planned mission for the Red Planet: getting back home safely, “adding that” [a] strangles usually have the comfort of knowing they can return to a safe place , they’re going to make a commitment to an unknown way of life that they can never ‘unchoose.’ ” [143]He said there are analogues of people making one-way trips, though “[m] ost people can not conceive of going on Mars One, because they can not imagine leaving behind everything they love on Earth,” adding that “[i ] n reality, this is similar to the fact that all immigrants have a history of human migration, whether they have been forced to leave the country voluntarily. [143]

At the 2008 annual convention of the American Psychological Association , Vakoch chaired the symposium “To the Moon and Mars: Psychology of Long-Duration Space Exploration,” [144] which was identified as a “highlight” of the convention. [145]

Vakoch has also examined unmanned space exploration. Commenting on plans to send a spacecraft to a nearby star, he told the International Business Times that “[b] y sending hundreds of times the size of postage stamps, Starshot Breakthrough gets around the hazards of spaceflight that could easily end up mission only on a single spacecraft.Only one nanocraft needs to make its way to Alpha Centauri and send back a signal for the mission to be successful. [146] Focusing on the solar system, he commented on NASA’s plans to send a message to Jupiter’s moon Europa , telling Gizmodothat “[t] he top priority of this lander mission will be to search for evidence of life on Europa,” adding that “even if that is not a goal, we will learn a great deal about the potential habitability of this moon, which will be essential for future, even more ambitious missions. ” [147]

Cognitive, cross-cultural, and clinical psychology

Vakoch has collaborated on several empirical studies of human cognition. His research in psycholinguistics with Lee Wurm explores the perception of speech and emotion from an evolutionary framework, [148] [149] with their findings indicating that “speech perception and the emotional lexicon” are “closely tied together.” [150] Vakoch’s experimental work with Yuh-Shiow Lee suggests that complex learning is better understood , while learning is easier than explicit learning, [151] with their research suggesting that “implicit learning can be more efficient than explicit learning. . ” [152] Vakoch and the late psychotherapy researcherHans Herrman Strupp suggests that the expert understanding of experienced psychotherapists is not well captured by manualized psychotherapy, [153] and they argue that this can not be translated into “the development of clinical judgment and complex reasoning.” [154] [155]

Vakoch’s cross-cultural research on the perception of tonal languages ​​with Yuh-Shiow Lee and Lee Wurm suggests that it is better to discriminate tonal differences than speakers of non-tonal languages, [156] [157] finding “that English listeners had difficulty discriminating Cantonese and Mandarin tones, which were more discriminating tone contrasts of their own language than they were still better than the English listeners. ” [158]

Vakoch’s edited volume Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective [159] has been called “a high-quality tool for cross-cultural studies of altruism and beyond” [160] and PsycCRITIQUES notes that “[t] his book should be of interest to both students and professionals with cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary perspective “and judges that the epilogue” is worth the price of the book alone. ” [161] Psychicalso identified limitations of this book: “Although a number of authors of the role of altruism in the context of Eastern religions (Taosim and Hinduism), traditional rituals, and spiritualism, a weakness of the book is that the role of altruism in the Judeo -Christian tradition is barely examined “and” [a] nother weakness is the chapters are not pulled together “It would have been helpful to have a final overview of the various strands together.” [161]

Vakoch is a professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). [3] [162]

Ecopsychology and ecocriticism

In conjunction with the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in 2008, Vakoch assessed people’s responses to environmental problems. [163] “I think most people know we have a severe environmental crisis, but it’s hard to deal with that head-on because it’s all over the world,” he told USA Today , adding “[i] f we look at the nature of the problem, it’s so big it’s hard to know what to do in their own life to make a difference. ” [163] Vakoch called for additional research into the psychology of environmental issues, saying “[w] e are recognizing that environmental problems have a tremendous impact on many aspects of our lives, but we need a lot more work.[163] He cautioned that “[w] e can not afford to let this increased environmental concern become just another fashionable trend.” [163]

“Psychologists are becoming more involved in helping alleviate environmental problems,” Vakoch told CQ Researcher , adding that “[p] sychologists are very experienced in dealing with denial and in helping to frame messages that can be heard in the world. by it. ” [164] “The most important lesson is that there is no one size fits all ‘solution to environmental problems,” Vakoch said, adding “[t] o create effective public policies, leaders need to recognize that different people willing to adopt more environmentally sound behaviors for different reasons. [164]

PsychoCritics ‘ review of Vakoch and Fernando Castrillón’s Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment [165] notes that “[a] lthough ecopsychological phenomenology is lacking in shrillness and laudability for the intrinsic human values ​​it promotes, the book’s strengths contain its vulnerability. We -have atteint Some critical tipping point, and we can not continue with business as usual. The authors in Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment are well aware of this. Rather than making warnings say, They ask the big questions. ” [166] This reviewer noted that “[w] hat I do not like Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the EnvironmentNorth America and the United States of America “and” [w] hat I liked most of it, it was part of some really beautiful writing, it was its approach to suffering and the wildness of our nature, as part of of the great chain of being. There is a cogent argument that we must address our sense of separation from the world that holds us. I believe that readers will come away with an expanded sense of identity, and with a sense of calmness about what can be done and how can it be done. ” [166]

Vakoch’s books in ecofeminism have been widely reviewed in scholarly journals. The review paper Choice recommended Vakoch’s Feminist Ecocriticism [167] for “[a] pper-division undergraduates through faculty,” [168] and Environmental Philosophy called Expired it “an excellent contribution of Post-structuralist Ecofeminist thought on the contemporary liberatory alternative debate.” [169] English Studies noted that “[u] nfortunately, Feminist Ecocriticismpresents a somewhat anachronistic view of ecofeminism, and fails to take into account the many exciting developments in the field since 2000, such as material feminism” [170].and “[t] he collection of hand flaw is that the essays rarely, if at all, reference scholarly work published since the turn of the century,” [171] while “the biggest contribution it makes, which is certainly not important, is to the study of individual works, most notably Carson’s sea ​​books (Sullivan) and Silent Spring (Magee). ” [172]

The reviewer of Vakoch’s Ecofeminism and Rhetoric [173] for the journal Women & Language noted that “[t] he material is challenging-in terms of its challenge to popular thinking and scholarship-and, yes, even troubling. This paper presents a discussion of the subject of the study of the field of the study of the subject. , news ways of operationalizing ecofeminist theory, and an awareness of possible problems with ecofeminism and answers to those criticisms. ” [174] The same reviewer wrote that “[b] ecauseEcofeminism and Rhetoric provides a strong overview of the field, both in the classroom and in the field of ecofeminist reviews, it is appropriate for a range of audiences ranging from ecofeminist to one who has just discovered ecofeminism. Additionally, reading the epilogue first will help the selective reader choose how to prioritize the chapters. I will use this book again in the field of ecofeminism because the lens is well cultivated and the meta-conversation insightful. ” [175]

The Journal of Ecocriticism of the same book “[i] n many ways, Ecofeminism and Rhetoric continues the shift toward an interdisciplinary approach in academic publishing. Undoubtedly, versatility and applicability of Vakoch’s essay collection should not be overlooked. ” [176] Gender, Place & Culture commended “the collection on its ambitious scope” and suggests that “research students and academics will enjoy reading it, and undergraduate students may benefit from the overview chapters that frame the theoretical approaches”. said ” Ecofeminism and Rhetoric is a worthwhile contribution that will be valuable for undergraduates and researchers both within and outside the academic field of ecofeminism.” [178] Rhetoric Review noted that ” Ecofeminism and Rhetoric gives us a great deal of potential in the field of global warming, species reduction, desertification, ecoracism, environmental injustice, slumming as a growth industry. in rapid urbanization, and one energy crisis after another. ” [179]The same journal wrote that “[a] book on ecofeminist rhetoric assumed a difficult task.” Not only does it venture into a relatively uncharted territory, it also proposes to bring together three distinct fields of study: feminism, environmental In this study, the results of this study can be compared to the number of students in the field of effective synthesis. of ecofeminist rhetoric to further inquiry, it does not achieve the vision synthesis except in rare moments. [180]

Vakoch’s edited volumes in ecofeminism have been criticized for multicultural representation among the contributors and perspectives. [178] [181] One reviewer questioned a volume on ecofeminism that includes so many male contributors. [178]

Vakoch serves as the general editor of the Ecocritical Theory and Practice series, published by Lexington Books. [182]


  • Vakoch was elected as a member of the International Institute of Space Law in 2002. [183]
  • In 2006 he was awarded a Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award “for dedication to the language and codes for broader cosmic reception and communication and their broader cultural meanings.”[184]
  • Vakoch was elected as a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics in 2009.[185]
  • In 2010 he presented the talk “Aesthetics for Aliens: Art, Music, and Extraterrestrials” in the Victor M. Bearg Science and Humanities Scholars Speaker Series at Carnegie Mellon University.[186]
  • He gave a keynote address in 2011 on “a psychological perspective on sending messages to unknown extraterrestrial life forms” at an international symposium on the History and Philosophy of Astrobiology on the island of Ven, hosted by the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Study at Lund University in Sweden.[187]
  • In 2016 Vakoch gave the Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture “Calling the Cosmos: How to Talk with Extraterrestrials” at Morrison Planetarium of the California Academy of Sciences.[188]
  • He gave the keynote address “Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI)” for the Astrobiology Track at the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[189]
  • Vakoch is a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Within the IAU, he is a member of Division B (Facilities, Technologies and Data Science), Division C (Education, Outreach and Heritage), Division F (Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy), Commission B4 (Radio Astronomy), Commission C2 (Communicating Astronomy with the Public), and Commission F3 (Astrobiology).[190]


Date Film As Video Link
2008 Calling E.T.[191][192] Himself Trailer[193]
2015 The Visit: An Alien Encounter[194][195][196] Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute[197] Full film (in English),[198] (in Italian)[199]Trailer[200]
2019 Earthling’s Quest[201][202] Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, President, METI International Trailer[203]


Date Network/Channel Program Episode As Video Link
1999-12-20 Channel 4/Discovery Channel[204] Equinox Episode 14, Talking with Aliens[205][206][207][208] Himself, as Douglas Vakoch
2002-08-02 Australian Broadcasting Corporation Catalyst Are We Alone? (Part 2)[209] Himself, as Dr Doug Vakoch
2006 arte Cosmic Connexion[210][211] Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, Psychologue-Psychologe, SETI Program segment (in French) [76]
2007-08-07 BBC The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide Episode 1, Life in the Cosmos [212] [213] [214] Himself, as Dr. Doug Vakoch, SETI Institute Full episode (in Russian) [215]
2009 PBS Closer to Truth Episode 31, Where are They, All Those Aliens? Himself, as Doug Vakoch
2009 PBS Closer to Truth Episode 46, Would Intelligent Aliens Undermine God? Himself, as Doug Vakoch
2010-08-23 France 2 Are we alone in the universe? [216] [217] Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, Responsible for Interstellar Messages, SETI Institute, Mountain View, California, USA Full episode (in French)[218] [219]
2011-02-13 Discovery Science Alien Encounters (TV series) [220] Episode 1, The Message Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, Psychologist, SETI Institute Full episode [221] [222]
2011-03-20 Discovery Science Alien Encounters (TV series) [220] Episode 2, The Arrival Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, Psychologist, SETI Institute Full episode [223] [224]
2012-05-24 History Channel /Smithsonian Channel The True Story Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The True Story Himself, as Dr. Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Full episode [225]
2013 Art Zwischen Himmel und Erde[226] Episode 13, Kalifornien, Kommunikation mit Ausserirdischen [227] Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Communications, Seti Institute Full episode (in German) [228]
2013-03-19 Science Channel [229] Aliens: The Definitive Guide Episode 1, What to Expect [230] [231] Himself, as Dr. Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Full episode (in Russian) [232]
2013-03-26 Science Channel [229] Aliens: The Definitive Guide Episode 2, How to Prepare [233] [234] Himself, as Dr. Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Trailer [235]
2014 History Channel Star Trek: Secrets of the Universe Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Senior Scientist, SETI Institute Full episode [236]
2015 Is Anybody Out There? [237] Himself, as Douglas A. Vakoch Ph.D. Director of Interstellar Message Composition Trailer 1, [238] [239]Trailer 2 [240]
2015 PBS Closer to Truth Episode 183, Does the Cosmos have a Reason? Himself, as Doug Vakoch
2016-04-29 PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Himself, as Doug Vakoch, METI International Full segment [241]
2016 Česká televize Hyde Park Civilizace [242] Himself, as Dr. Douglas Vakoch, President of METI International Full episode [243]
2016-08-29 ABC7 Science World Buzzing Over Galactic Space Radio Blip Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Ph.D., METI International Full segment [244]
2017-02-07 Science Channel What on Earth? Season 3, Episode 12, Curse of the Sea Monster [245] Himself, as Dr. Douglas Vakoch, Astrobiologist
2017-04-04 EénVandaag Do not phone AND Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence Full segment (in Dutch)[246]
2017-04-20 NPO 1 Kuipers zoekt contact himself Trailer (in Dutch) [247]


Dated Network / Station Program Episode ace Audio Link
2002-07-31 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)National Radio (RN) Perspective Conversing with Extra Terrestrials [248] Himself, as Doug Vakoch
2003-11-13 NPR / KQED Forum Extraterrestrial Life [249] [250] Himself, as Dr. Doug Vakoch, SETI Institute
2004-09-20 BBC Radio 4 First Impressions[251] Himself, as Doug Vakoch
2008-12-01 Pulse of the Planet KSC SETI – Math Speak Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Full episode [252]
2008-12-08 Pulse of the Planet KSC SETI – Messages Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Full episode [253]
2010-02-23 Pulse of the Planet Kids’ Science Challenge: SETI – Greetings from Earth Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Full episode [254]
2012-01-21 BBC Discovery Seti, the past, present and future Himself, as Doug Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute Full segment [255]
2012-05-01 BBC Wales Science Cafe [256] Astrobiology Himself, as Doug Vakoch, SETI, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
2013-07-15 BBC Radio 4 Word of Mouth Is anyone listening to us? Himself, as Doug Vakoch, SETI Institute Program segment [257]
2013-07-22 BBC Radio 4 Word of Mouth How do you talk to an alien? Himself, as Doug Vakoch, SETI Institute Full episode [258]
2013-12-13 Interfaith Voices Would Alien Contact Change Religion on Earth? Himself, Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute Full segment [259]
2014-12-15 NPR / KQED KQED Science Designing the Doorbell Interstellar (Or How to Talk to ET) himself Full episode [260]
2015-07-23 PRI / KCRW To the Point Big Money and New Discoveries in the Search for Aliens Himself, Douglas Vakoch, SETI Institute Full segment [261]
2016-11-18 NPR / Science Friday Science Goes to the Movies ‘Arrival’ Himself, as Doug Vakoch, President, METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International Full segment [262] [263]
2016 Newstalk Moncrieff Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Messaging Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, President, Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Full segment [264]
2016-11-25 CBC Radio The Current If there are aliens, how can we communicate? Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, President, METI International Full segment [265]
2017-02-01 RCN – Radio Cadena Nacional Sala Internacional Nuevos esfuerzos for contact with extraterrestrial vida Himself, as Douglas Vakoch, President of METI International Full episode (in Spanish) [266] [267]
2017-02-13 The Wow! Podcast signal Episode 35, There is Here Himself, as Doug Vakoch, METI.org’s president Full episode [268]
2017-02-20 SWR2 Wissen ET – hörst Du mich ?: Das METI-Project Himself, as Dr. Douglas Vakoch, Chairman of the Non-Profit-Organization METI Full segment (in German) [269]

Selected bibliography

Vakoch, DA (2011). Communication with extraterrestrial intelligence . Albany, State University of New York Press. [38]

Vakoch, DA (2011). Ecofeminism and rhetoric: critical perspectives on sex, technology, and discourse . New York, Berghahn Books. [173]

Vakoch, DA (2011). Psychology of space exploration: contemporary research in historical perspective . Washington, DC, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Communications, History Program Office. [133]

Vakoch, DA (2012). Feminist ecocriticism: environment, women, and literature . Lanham, MD, Lexington Books. [167]

Vakoch, DA (2013). Altruism in cross-cultural perspective . New York, Springer. [159]

Vakoch, DA (2013). Astrobiology, history and society: life beyond earth and the impact of discovery . Heidelberg, Springer Verlag. [129]

Vakoch, DA (2013). On orbit and beyond: psychological perspectives on human spaceflight . Heidelberg, Germany, Springer-Verlag. [137]

Vakoch, DA (2014). Archeology, anthropology, and interstellar communication . Washington DC, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Communications, Public Outreach Division, History Program Office. [124]

Vakoch, DA (2014). Extraterrestrial altruism: evolution and ethics in the cosmos . Heidelberg [ua], Springer. [118]

Vakoch, DA, & Castrillon, F. (2014). Ecopsychology, phenomenology, and the environment: the experience of nature . New York, Springer. [165]

Vakoch, DA, & Dowd, MF (2015). The Drake equation: Estimating the prevalence of extraterrestrial life through the ages . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. [120]

Vakoch, DA, & Harrison, AA (2011). Civilizations beyond earth: extraterrestrial life and society . New York, Berghahn Books. [122]

Vakoch, DA, & Mickey, S. (2017). Women and nature: beyond dualism in gender, body, and environment . Taylor & Francis. [270]

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