Edmund Griffiths  

E d m u n d   G r i f f i t h s

No saviour from on high: the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

Oxford Communist Corresponding Society, 18 June 2020

Frank Drake
Frank Drake with the 85-foot telescope at the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. This was the first instrument used to search for intelligent signals from space (1960)

N = R* × fp × ne × fl × fi × fc × L
The Drake equation (1961): the number of civilizations in the galaxy with which communication is possible is the product of the rate of star formation, the fraction of stars with planets, the number of habitable planets per solar system, the fraction of habitable planets on which life emerges, the fraction of planets with life where intelligence evolves, the fraction of intelligent species that develop technology capable of interstellar communication, and the average lifespan of a technological civilization

Вселенная, жизнь, разум by I. S. Shklovsky
Iosif Shklovsky’s Universe, Life, Intelligence (1962) introduced many readers in the USSR and the USA to the idea of searching for extraterrestrial intelligence

Byurakan Observatory
The Byurakan Astrophysics Observatory in Armenia, venue for the first international conference on communicating with extraterrestrial intelligence (1971)

Mars globe
Globe of Mars by Emmy Ingeborg Brun (1909), based on maps drawn by Percival Lowell

SETI@home screenshot
The SETI@home project (1999–2020) allowed home computer owners to donate otherwise unused processing time on their machines to the search for possible intelligent signals in radio telescope data

Pioneer plaque
Engraved metal plaque attached to the Pioneer 10 (1972) and Pioneer 11 (1973) space probes. Design by Frank Drake and Carl Sagan

Arecibo message
Message transmitted on 16 November 1974 from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico towards the globular cluster M13 in Hercules