A new group at the University of St Andrews in Scotland is gathering ideas on how to proceed when the human race encounters extraterrestrials.
Aided by experts from around the world, they will develop protocols and treaties, and will assess evidence of intelligent civilizations on other planets.
The work will take place at a new university research center that will be dedicated to researching extraterrestrial life.
“Science fiction is full of explorations of the impact on human society after discovery and even encounters with life or intelligence elsewhere. But we need to go beyond thinking about humanity’s impact,” explained project coordinator Dr. John Elliott.
“We need to coordinate our expertise, not just to assess the evidence, but also to consider the human social response as our understanding progresses and what we know and what we don’t know is communicated. And the time to do that is now.” added.