Fraknoi - Aliens in Science and Science Fiction

Fraknoi, Andrew
Few areas of science provoke our imaginations as much as the search for alien life among the stars. It is a staple of science fiction stories and films, but, recently it has also become a legitimate branch of scientific inquiry. In this non-technical class (designed for non-scientists), Andrew Fraknoi takes a look at why astronomers are more optimistic than ever that there must be life beyond Earth (for example, the discovery of thousands of planets orbiting other stars), what experiments we are undertaking to find or communicate with such life, and what we propose to do if we find “them.” He also lookd at some of the most imaginative science fiction ideas about what aliens will be like, and what the results of getting in touch with aliens might be. (The lectures are illustrated with dozens of images from telescopes, space probes, laboratories, and the imaginations of science fiction writers.)