Alien Life and UFOs – The Scientific View
Video clips recently released from the military, and the observation of an object with a potentially strange trajectory around the Sun, have reignited interest in the question of UFOs and the existence of intelligent alien life. This talk will explore the current state of knowledge about the probability of life and technological civilizations existing elsewhere in the Galaxy, which has advanced greatly in the past decade due to the discovery and characterization of thousands of planets around other stars. We will then consider the recent UFO claims from a scientific perspective of ‘open-minded skepticism’ where one should take into account considerations such as our current media landscape, our knowledge of atmospheric phenomena, and whether we should expect visits from other civilizations.
Jack Singal is currently a Visiting Scholar at Stanford, and is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Richmond in Virginia. His research interests include applying machine learning strategies to astronomical surveys, exploring the evolution of supermassive black hole systems in the Universe via the population of quasars, and new measurements and interpretations of the mysteriously bright diffuse radio emission. Dr. Singal has previously held postdoctoral research appointments at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and at KIPAC, and his career and life have taken him to all 50 states and 25 countries.