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This week Russian scientists have been meeting to figure out how to get in touch with the extraterrestrial civilizations they believe are out there. The Russian Institute of Applied Astronomy in St. Petersburg is hosting the third symposium on Searching for Life Signatures. The conference started June 27 and runs until the 30th.

The welcome speech has already made worldwide headlines. Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Applied Astronomy Institute, Dr. Andrey Finkelstein, stated that aliens could possibly look like us, with two arms, two legs and a head, and that we will probably come into contact with them within the next 20 years. Most of the news reports tend to include the perspective that Dr. Finklstein may be a little too optimistic.

The symposium isn’t just about making bold statements, but also coming up with more aggressive tactics to help Dr. Finklestein’s theory come true. The second welcome address was by Dr. Claudio Maccone of Italy. He is the International Academy of Astronautics’ director of scientific space exploration and in 2002 was awarded the Giordano Bruno Award by the SETI League for his efforts to establish a radio observatory on the far side of the moon. The efforts for such a project are still underway. In fact Maccone also gave a speech the next day on the importance of the United Nations protecting the far side of the moon, securing it for scientific purposes.

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Category: Science