Professor Paul Davies gives this public lecture entitled: The eerie silence: Are we alone in the Universe? on Friday, 18 May 2012 at The Australian National University. Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author. He is Regents' Professor at Arizona State University, where he directs the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science -- a cosmic think tank that tackles the "big questions" of existence, from the origin of the universe to the origin of life and the nature of time. Davies also directs a National Cancer Institute research program that tackles cancer from a physics perspective. Among his research accomplishments, Davies helped explain how black holes radiate energy, what caused the ripples in the cosmic afterglow of the big bang, and why life on Earth may have come from Mars. Davies has written about 30 books, most recently The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe? His preoccupation with deep conceptual problems and his fearless championing of bold new ideas earned Davies the epithet of 'The Disruptor' in a recent profile in Nature magazine. His many media projects include presenting two six-part series on The Big Questions for Australian television. He has awards from The Royal Society and the UK Institute of Physics, and also received the 1995 Templeton Prize. In 2007 he was named a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's birthday honours list Paul Charles William Davies, AM is an English physicist, writer and broadcaster, a professor at Arizona State University as well as the Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science..
The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe? The Book.
On April 8, 1960, a young American astronomer, Frank Drake, turned a radio telescope toward the star Tau Ceti and listened for several hours to see if he could detect any artificial radio signals. With this modest start began a worldwide project of potentially momentous significance. Known as SETI - Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - it is an amalgam of science, technology, adventure, curiosity and a bold vision of humanity's destiny. Drake has said that SETI is really a search for ourselves - who we are and what our place might be in the grand cosmic scheme of things. Yet with one tantalizing exception, SETI has produced only negative results. After millions of hours spent eavesdropping on the cosmos astronomers have detected only the eerie sound of silence. What does that mean? Are we in fact alone in the vastness of the universe? Is ET out there, but not sending any messages our way? Might we be surrounded by messages we simply don't recognize? Is SETI a waste of time and money, or should we press ahead with new and more sensitive antennas? Or look somewhere else? And if a signal were to be received, what then? How would we - or even should we - respond. Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and bestselling author. He is Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, both at Arizona State University. Previously he held academic appointments at the Universities of Cambridge, London and Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, before moving to Australia in 1990, initially as Professor of Mathematical Physics at The University of Adelaide. Later he helped found the Australian Centre for Astrobiology in Sydney.