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What our search for extraterrestrial life can tell us about ourselves

A photograph of the Milky Way galaxy seen above the Rinjani Mountain.
Abdul Azis/Getty Images
Moment RF

Humans have long been interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. This hour, a look at why that interest has persisted.

Plus, we talk to a scientist who is looking for extraterrestrial life and a linguist who is preparing in case we ever receive communications from extraterrestrials.


  • Kate Dorsch: Historian, philosopher of science, and the associate director of the philosophy, politics, and economics program at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Amanda Rees: Historian of science based at the University of York
  • Seth Shostak: Senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and host of the radio show and podcast Big Picture Science
  • Sheri Wells-Jensen: Associate professor of English and linguistics at Bowling Green State University and a member of the board of directors of METI International

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired June 2, 2022.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.
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