The SETI League, Inc., a membership-supported, non-profit {501(c)(3)}, educational and scientific organization Searching for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence

Ask Dr. SETI ®

Chapter 5: Sociology

What Should We Say to Aliens?

Dear Dr. SETI:
I have this project to do for school. I have to design a SETI poster that can be sent into space. I'm really stuck on a design. I was wondering if you could please give me some ideas about what to include in a SETI message. I'm thinking to include the solar system and a picture of a male and a female. I desperately need some ideas. Please help!!


The Doctor Responds:
Jennifer, because I was long a teacher, I make it a policy never to do a student's homework for her. There is an extensive literature on interstellar message construction, which you can access through even a cursory web search. If you know how to Google, you can find what's out there. Nevertheless, perhaps I can suggest a strategy whereby you can answer your own question, and focus your efforts.

The best way to design an interstellar message is to turn the question around. What would you most like to receive in a message from extraterrestrials? Answer that question, and you can imagine what they might wish to learn about us. Then, it's simply a matter of deciding how best to convey that information.

Good luck with your school project. I hope your teacher (and the extraterrestrials!) enjoy your message.

Click to email the Webmaster
| Home | General | Memb Svcs | Publications | Press | Technical | Internet | Index |
entire website copyright © The SETI League, Inc.; Maintained by Microcomm
this page last updated 6 October 2007
Click for top of page
Top of Page