By David Lamb
Is the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence a genuine scientific research programme? David Lamb evaluates claims and counter-claims, and examines recent attempts to establish contact with other intelligent life forms. He considers the benefits and drawbacks of this communication, how we should communicate and whether we actually can. He also assesses competing theories on the origin of life on Earth, discoveries of former solar planets, proposals for space colonies and the consequent technical and ethical issues.