Researchers

John Elliott

Coordinator of SETI Post-Detection Hub

Dr John Elliott has been a leading contributor for SETI post-detection research and development, since the late 1990s: initially in the fields of signal categorisation, analytics and message decipherment, which subsequently expanded to include post-detection metapolicy, protocols, societal impact and dissemination strategies. More recently, this has extended to post detection strategies for designing a global framework for integrating comprising multidisciplinary research. In 2012, together with Lord Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal) as patron, he co-founded the UK SETI Research Network, of which he is currently the Chair.

Derek Ball

Derek Ball specialises in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind.  His interests include communication between individuals with different backgrounds and beliefs, and the minds of infants and non-human animals. 

Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter was born in Liverpool, England, in 1957. He has degrees in mathematics, from Cambridge University, engineering, from Southampton University, and in business administration, from Henley Management College. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Stephen Baxter has been a full-time author since 1995. His science fiction novels have been published in the UK, the US, and in many other countries including Germany, Japan, France.

Michael Bohlander

Professor Michael Bohlander holds the Chair in Global Law and SETI Policy at Durham Law School. His SETI-related research focusses on the consequences of contact for human law in the wider sense. He is a member of the UK SETI Research Network, the German ETI Research Network, and of the International Institute of Space Law. In February 2022, the Council of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of Würzburg University (Germany) appointed him to the Scientific Advisory Council of its Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Extraterrestrial Studies (IFEX). He has given talks on SETI and human law in the UK and Germany, and published on SETI issues in the journals Acta Astronautica and Futures. He is currently finishing a book with the working title “Contact with Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Human Law – A speculative study at the example of humanitarian and human rights law” (forthcoming 2023).

Adam Bower

Dr Adam Bower is a Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations and Co-director of the Centre for Global Law and Governance at the University of St Andrews. Dr Bower’s research examines the development, implementation, and transformation of international norms and laws regulating the use of armed violence. He is currently undertaking a long-term research program (initially funded by a Research Fellowship grant from The Leverhulme Trust) studying the prospective development of new international governance mechanisms to regulate military space operations. Dr Bower is a Fellow of the Outer Space Institute, a global network of transdisciplinary space experts committed to promoting safe and sustainable space operations.

Martin Dominik

Martin Dominik is one of the Co-Directors of the St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science as well as President of the Network of Researchers on the Chemical Evolution of Life (NoRCEL). A physicist by training and an astronomer by practice, he not only contributed to the detection of extra-solar planets, but also engaged on integrating science in society and cutting across the sciences, humanities, and arts. His wider interests include the fundamental principles underlying the emergence of life and what it means to be human.

William Edmondson

Dr William Edmondson is a Cognitive Scientist with a wide-ranging set of interests in linguistics, human-computer interaction and SETI: first publishing a paper on SETI in 2003, in which he proposes that pulsars can serve as beacons for the discovery of and communication with extraterrestrials. His recent book – The Sequential Imperative, published by Brill (2017) – provides a synthetic summary of much of his work; the conceptual focus is the Functional Specification of the brain, any brain. Along with being a member of the UKSRN, he is also on the Advisory Council of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), to give critical voice on matters regarding linguistic exchange with an extraterrestrial intelligence. 

Emily Finer

Emily studies intersections between science fiction, science, and space policy. Her research has focused on multilingualism and translation between Russian, Polish and English, and the early Soviet theorists who aimed to make literary analysis more scientific. She is PI for the grant ‘Forecasting Reproduction in Space’; was a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Red Mars Series, and is Co-Director of the St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science.

Arik Kershenbaum

Dr Arik Kershenbaum is a zoologist at the University of Cambridge, and a specialist in animal communication, especially in wolves, dolphins, and primates. His recent popular science book, The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy, shows how observations of life on Earth, combined with evolutionary theory, can be used to make predictions about the nature of alien life. He has been a member of the UKSRN since 2017, and is also on the advisory committee of METI.org, and a member of the Message in a Bottle project, both dedicated to formulating intelligible messages to extraterrestrial civilisations.

Emma Johanna Puranen

Emma Johanna Puranen is an interdisciplinary doctoral scholar using data science to study the portrayal of exoplanets in science fiction. She is interested in what science fiction reveals about how humanity imagines extra-terrestrials, and in the ethics of first contact.

International Affiliates

Andreas Anton

Dr. Andreas Anton is a German sociologist working at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP) in Freiburg. He is a founding member of the German ETI Research Network. One of his main research interests is the question of the social consequences of a first contact of mankind with an extraterrestrial intelligence. In this context, together with his colleague Michael Schetsche, he has taken up and expanded ideas on exosociology. In several articles and two books (published in German), the authors analyse various scenarios for contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence. The focus is on what factors human reactions would depend on in a first contact event. An English translation of one of the books will be published by Springer in 2023 with the title “Meeting the Alien. An Introduction to Exosociology”. 

Klara Anna Capova

Klara is a socio-cultural anthropologist specialised in Science and Technology Studies, primarily interested in the societal context of space sciences and technologies and social impacts they have (Space & Society). This includes cultural, economic, geo-political, environmental and public dimensions of space exploration and in particular transformations of human relations to outer space; search for life beyond Earth; and technological advancement related to space exploration.

Kathryn Denning

Dr Kathryn Denning is a Canadian anthropologist and archaeologist. She specializes in the long view of humanity’s history, both past and future, and is particularly interested in the ethics of how we engage with other species, including the extinct, extant, and as-yet-unknown. All this combines in her long-term research focus on humanity’s cultural expansion into space, and how we anticipate other life that has yet to be discovered. She is a long-time member of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee, sits on the Science Advisory Board of the SETI Institute, and the Board of the Just Space Alliance. Since 2005, she has been active in SETI post-detection research and policy discussions, and in work at the intersection of technosignatures, biosignatures, and society.

Maria Carolina Gallego Iradi

Dr. Maria Carolina Gallego Iradi, settled in Silicon Valley, earned a BSc Marine Biology, MSc Waste Treatment, and a PhD in Genetics. She has been working as chair, professor, researcher, entrepreneur, innovator, counselor, and mentor for more than 24 years. She is a top expert in molecular & cell biology, genetics, neuroscience, RNA transcriptomics, bioinformatics, and human thymus/immunology. She innovated her cell research applying laser and biophysics (Aerospace Eng. collaboration, UF). Her career portfolio includes prestigious institutions (Stanford, McKnight Brain Institute, UF, UNIZAR, UDO, UNEFA). Carolina discovered during her PhD Alzheimer’s disease pathologies and genes related in dolphin brains (2005, published in 2017). This finding had worldwide recognition (The Times, Newsweek, TV, Discover, Los Angeles Times, Nat Geo Italy, etc.). Her goal is to discover interspecific interaction gene-function and apply these new capabilities unknown to us, including intricated pathways hidden in their brains.

Carol Ann Oliver

Carol is a science communication researcher with background in print, radio, and television journalism, and holds a research Masters in science communication (SETI and the Media) and a doctorate in science communication. She is an Associate Professor and a member of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Carol has been involved with SETI since 1995 and is seen as a leader in establishing SETI in Australia, including being involved in initiating the SETI Australia Centre at Western Sydney University and in setting up a piggy-back SETI experiment at the 64-metre Parkes Radio Telescope, Southern SERENDIP, both of which ran from 1998-2009. More recently, Carol has made significant contributions to three reports on Australian space policy as well as one on establishing a national science communication programme.

George Profitiliotis

Dr George Profitiliotis is an electrical & computer engineer trained in interdisciplinary environmental studies and holds a PhD on the application of environmental economics to planetary protection policy. He has worked in the fields of strategic foresight, futures literacy, and futures studies and is currently a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law of the National Technical University of Athens, studying the pertinence of anticipation to the search for extraterrestrial life. He is interested in utilizing insights from multiple future-oriented disciplines to inform the anticipatory governance of the search for microbial and intelligent, technology-capable, extraterrestrial life —especially regarding post-detection issues. George is also a published speculative fiction author in Greece and a member of the Panel on Social Sciences and Humanities of the Committee on Space Research.