METI International

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METI International, known simply as METI, is a non-profit research organization founded in July 2015 by Douglas Vakoch[1] that creates and transmits interstellar messages to attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] It is based in San Francisco, California.[3][6]


METI targets nearby stars and researches the nature of the messages to send.[1][9] On October 16, 17, and 18, 2017, it sent a message consisting of a scientific and mathematical tutorial to the red dwarf Luyten's Star, just over 12 light years from Earth.[10][11][12] The message was sent from a radio transmitter at the EISCAT research facility in Tromsø, Norway.[13] One of METI's missions is to examine people's views of transmitting interstellar messages.[2]

METI's aim is to build an interdisciplinary community to design interstellar messages, within the context of the evolution of intelligence and language.[14] In May 2016, it convened the meeting “The Intelligence Of SETI: Cognition And Communication In Extraterrestrial Intelligence” in Puerto Rico.[2][5] In May 2018 in Los Angeles, it held “Language in the Cosmos” in conjunction with the International Space Development Conference.[14][15] to examine the connection between astrobiology and linguistics.[9] On March 22, 2017, it held a workshop in Paris examining the question "What is life?" from an extraterrestrial perspective.[16]

METI also conducts an optical search of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).[17][2] Its optical observatory in Panama looks for laser pulses from advanced civilizations. It has examined anomalous stars like the nearby red dwarf star Ross 128,[18] as well as HD 164595, 94 light years from Earth.[17] None of the searches has yielded evidence of artificial signals.[17][18]


American scientist and science-fiction author David Brin has questioned "whether small groups of zealots should bypass all institutions, peer critique, risk appraisal or public opinion, to shout ‘yoohoo’ into a potentially hazardous cosmos" and so force a fait accompli on humanity.[19]

Numerous other authors and scientists have expressed similar concerns, generally known as the "Dark Forest Theory" of ETI, including Stephen Hawking.[20][21] Of particular interest in science fiction is Cixin Liu's Remembrance of Earth's Past, exploring the theory and some of its implications.[22][23]

Notable members[edit]

Notable members of METI's Board of Directors and Advisory Council include:

See also[edit]

  • Active SETI — METI (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)
  • Fermi paradox — Lack of evidence that extraterrestrials exist
  • SETIcon – Public conventions on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence
  • Zoo hypothesis — Hypothesis that suggests humanity is effectively caged on Earth


  1. ^ a b Johnson, Steven (2017-06-23). "Greetings, E.T. (Please Don't Murder Us.)". The New York Times Magazine.
  2. ^ a b c d Osborne, Hannah (2016-02-16). "Meti president Douglas Vakoch: Sending messages to aliens is not dangerous and we could make contact by 2035". International Business Times.
  3. ^ a b Krieger, Lisa (2016-12-27). "Tired of listening, scientists plan to send greetings out to other worlds". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ Meyer, Guido (2017-02-20). "E.T. - hörst Du mich?". SWR2.
  5. ^ a b Schulze-Makuch, Dirk (2016-06-03). "Conversing with E.T." Air & Space Magazine.
  6. ^ a b Robert, Sanders (2016-12-29). "METI to Send Interstellar Messages in 2018". Futurism.
  7. ^ Sabin, Dyani (2017-06-29). "Researchers at METI are Trying New Technology to Contact Aliens". Inverse.
  8. ^ Leary, Kyree (2017-09-17). "Despite Opposition, METI Will Still Reach Out to Alien Life in 2018". Futurism.
  9. ^ a b Castelvecchi, Davide (2018-06-01). "The researchers who study alien linguistics". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05310-x. ISSN 0028-0836. S2CID 165649983.
  10. ^ "How to send a message to another planet". The Economist. 2017-11-16.
  11. ^ Schughart, Anna (2017-11-16). "Hallo, GJ 273b! Außerirdische zu Hause?". WIRED.DE.
  12. ^ "Qué contiene el último mensaje enviado al espacio en busca de vida alienígena". BBC. 2017-11-20.
  13. ^ Patton, Paul (2018-06-05). "Language in the Cosmos II: Hello There GJ273b". Universe Today.
  14. ^ a b Patton, Paul (2018-06-04). "Language in the Cosmos I: Is Universal Grammar Really Universal?". Universe Today.
  15. ^ Klesman, Alison (2018-05-29). "What would an alien language sound like?". Astronomy Magazine.
  16. ^ Rozieres, Gregory (2017-03-26). "Des chercheurs se sont sérieusement posé la question de l'intelligence des extraterrestres". Huffington Post (French edition).
  17. ^ a b c Griffiths, James (2016-08-30). "Hear me now? 'Strong signal' from sun-like star sparks alien speculation". CNN.
  18. ^ a b Wall, Mike (2017-07-18). "Astronomers Detect Strange Signals from Red Dwarf Star". Scientific American.
  19. ^ David Brin, G. (2018). "The Great Silence: The Science and Philosophy of Fermi's Paradox". American Journal of Physics. 86 (11): 878–879. Bibcode:2018AmJPh..86..878D. doi:10.1119/1.5053112.
  20. ^ "Is Stephen Hawking right about aliens?". the Guardian. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  21. ^ "Why these scientists fear contact with space aliens". NBC News. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  22. ^ Alderson, Ella (2020-07-20). "The Dark Forest Theory of the Universe". Medium. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  23. ^ "Statement Regarding METI/Active SETI". Retrieved 2021-03-12.

External links[edit]