Feeds

UN appoints alien liaison boffin

'I for one would like to welcome...'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The head of the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs is poised to become first point of contact for extraterrestrials.

Astrophysicist Mazlan Othman, 58, is concerned that we simply don't have a proper welcome mat ready to unroll when ET finally gets in touch - something she feels is ever more likely as we scour the skies for signs of non-human life.

According to The Australian, she recently told fellow scientists: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we should have in place a co-ordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such co-ordination.”

Professor Richard Crowther of the UK's Space Agency lent his support to the appointment, which requires ultimate UN approval. He said: “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a 'take me to your leader' person.”

Crowther doubts, though, that Othman will be required to shake hands personally with intergalactic envoys, since our "first contact" is likely to be via radio, and in any case much alien life is probably nothing more than microbes.

This view is not shared by professor Stephen Hawking, The Australian notes. He recently warned: “I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet.

"The outcome for us would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the native Americans.”

The native Americans, of course, didn't have the benefit of a "co-ordinated response" fronted by an astrophysicist, and we're sure Othman has a diplomatic strategy in place to spare humanity subjugation by fleets of enormous astrocruisers packed with pitiless, resource-hungry lizard creatures. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.