Here's a great video from astronomer Seth Shostak about his work with the SETI institute, the search for extraterrestrial life, and how SETI can shape the future of American scientific literacy. Shostak does a fantastic job of addressing the possibility of finding alien life in a wonderfully humorous and entertaining way. What's also really interesting about this TED Talk is the brief overview Shostak gives about the past, present, and future of the search for extraterrestrial life at SETI.
Of additional note is Seth Shostak's ideas on what will happen after the discovery of alien life. While the “Columbus and the New World” analogy gets brought up fairly regularly, it's interesting for somebody to admit it might simply be impossible to accurately predict the eventual outcomes of first contact.
Additionally, if you're interested in some of Seth Shostak's ideas on what how people might react to microbial life you can click here.
But what do you think? How do you think people will respond to alien contact? Do you think we'll find aliens in the next few decades? Tell us in the comments!
Rusty is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and gets up to all kinds of shenanigans planning for any and all kinds of apocalypse when he's not busy reading, writing, or yo-yoing. Keep up with him and Rachel on Facebook and Twitter to get cool, space related news or click here to read more of his thoughts on the terror of alien invasion novels.