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Ask Dr. SETI ®

Chapter 5: Sociology

Politics and SETI

Dear Dr. SETI:
I am writing an article on the topic of who alien hunters should support in the upcoming election. In short, it is going to be an examination of how politics has influenced SETI (and vice versa) historically and what SETI researchers think would be some good platform points for a SETI-friendly candidate. As such, I was hoping you might be willing to answer a few questions via email on this subject in the coming days.

Daniel O., journalist

The Doctor Responds:
As you are no doubt aware, Daniel, The SETI League is an international, non-profit educational and scientific organization. As such, our charter would preclude our endorsing any political faction, party, or candidate. Further, as the group's Executive Director Emeritus, any statements I make will be interpreted as official SETI League positions. Thus, I must endeavor to avoid the appearance of partisanship.

That said, SETI science is among the most highly interdisciplinary of human pursuits, encompassing all aspects of the physical, biological, and social sciences. Thus, one would expect individual SETI proponents to be generally supportive of those parties and candidates who have voiced strong support for a solid science agenda. Further, since SETI is a multinational cooperative endeavor, we (as individuals) would tend to oppose those factions and candidates in all countries who would be likely to exhibit nationalistic tendencies to restrict the free flow of information. Any detection of credible evidence of other civilizations in the cosmos constitutes a message to all the passengers on Spaceship Earth.

Although none of us speaks for all of humanity, humanity must ultimately speak with one voice to our hypothesized cosmic companions.

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