Believers say the discovery of alien life will one day be remembered as the most incredible event in history. However Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researchers have warned that a post-detection policy needs to be put in place. There are fears the precarious media landscape could mean NASA’s alien contact announcement will either be lost in the noise or taken as fake news.
SETI will be canvassing public perception of alien contact at next month’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
SETI will conduct the largest-ever public survey of their sentiment towards aliens.
Questions will include public thoughts on alien contact, whether or not we should respond, what the resulting course of action should be, and which sources of news they would trust.
Dr Martin Dominik, the SET project’s lead said: “After receiving an initial transmission, weeks, months, or even many years could pass before a substantial message is decoded.