iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Aliens: The Ultimate Them and Us

Listen now 45 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Aliens: The Ultimate Them and Us

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 21 November 2012

Another chance to hear Matthew Sweet debating how the discovery of alien life might change the way we think about humanity.

Scientists have now detected distant planets that may contain life. If we are not alone in the Universe, will this fundamentally affect how we understand ourselves and should we prepare for the consequences? Ought we to begin work on a set of truly "universal" rights or prepare to take arms against the greatest threat to our existence?

Debating how the discovery of alien life will impact our moral and philosophical universe are the best-selling science-fiction writer Stephen Baxter, whose books include the latest Doctor Who novel, the science broadcaster and journalist Sue Nelson, the futurist and neuroscientist Anders Sandberg, and one of our leading space scientists, John Zarnecki, Professor of Space Science at the Open University.

The event is chaired by Night Waves presenter Matthew Sweet and was recorded as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival 2012.

Broadcasts

Free Thinking 2013 downloads

Sir Michael Marmot delivering the Free Thinking lecture

Download all of the talks and debates from Radio 3's festival of ideas

Free downloads

  1. Image for Arts and Ideas

    Arts and Ideas

    The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth…

  2. Image for Music and Culture of WW1

    Music and Culture of WW1

    Highlights of BBC Radio 3’s special programmes to mark the WW1 centenary. Classical music, art,…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.