The Road Map to First Alien Contact: A Bilingual Public Panel

May 1, 2024 7:00 PM
Location: McConnell Engineering Building Room 204 (3480 Rue University)
Public Outreach

How do scientists search for life on other planets? How do scientists distinguish between living organisms and non-living systems? How could we communicate with intelligent aliens? Join us on May 1st at 7pm ET for a panel discussion featuring researchers of different stripes, who will answer your questions about the search for extra-terrestrial life.

No tickets or registration needed. Doors open at 6:45 pm. This panel will be bilingual; we’ll be taking questions in French and English.

This event is organised by the Trottier Space Institute at McGill (TSI) and the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx).


Meet our panelists:

-Jessica Coon: is a professor of linguistics at McGill University and Canada Research Chair in syntax and indigenous languages. She works on ergativity, split ergativity, case and agreement, nominalization, field methodology, and collaborative language work in Ch'ol and Chuj (Mayan) and Mi'gmaq (Algonquian). She was the linguistics expert consultant for the 2016 film Arrival.

- René Doyon: is a professor of physics at l'Université de Montréal and the Canada Research Chair in Experimental Astrophysics and Exoplanetary Sciences. He develops state-of-the-art instruments to discover exoplanets and study their atmospheres, with a long-term goal to detect a biosignature—that is, a spectral fingerprint of biological activity from an exoplanet atmosphere.

- Jackie Goordial: is an assistant professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Guelph. Her group investigates how communities of microorganisms interact to maintain diversity and mediate biogeochemical cycling in the environment. Her group’s research helps shed light on what life could look like on cold planetary bodies such as Mars, or the moons Europa and Enceladus.


Can’t join in person? Join us live on YouTube.


More about the event ⇒


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