METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

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METI, 100 Pine Street, San Francisco, California 94111

METI International, simply known as METI, is a non-profit research organization that creates and transmits interstellar messages in order to attempt communication with extraterrestrial civilizations.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] In July 2015, the papers to form METI were filed by its founder and president, Douglas Vakoch.[8] METI is headquartered in San Francisco, California.[2][5]


METI targets nearby stars and also rethinks the nature of the messages to send.[8][9] On October 16, 17, and 18, 2017, METI sent a message consisting of a scientific and mathematical tutorial to the red dwarf Luyten's Star, located just over 12 light years from Earth.[10][11][12] This message was transmitted from a radio transmitter at the EISCAT research facility in Tromsø, Norway.[13] One of the goals of METI is to examine people's views of transmitting messages.[1]

METI builds an interdisciplinary community to design interstellar messages, within the context of the evolution of intelligence and language.[14] In May 2016, METI convened the meeting “The Intelligence Of SETI: Cognition And Communication In Extraterrestrial Intelligence” in Puerto Rico.[1][4] Two years later, in May 2018, METI held the meeting “Language in the Cosmos” in conjunction with the International Space Development Conference.[14][15] This meeting was held in Los Angeles and examined the connection between astrobiology and linguistics.[9] On March 22, 2017, METI held a workshop in Paris to examine the question "What is life?" from an extraterrestrial perspective.[16]

METI also searches for life beyond Earth.[17] Specifically, METI conducts an optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).[1] METI's optical SETI observatory in Panama looks for laser pulses from advanced civilizations, and 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 these searches has yielded evidence of artificial signals from extraterrestrial intelligence.[17][18]


David Brin wrote, "whether small groups of zealots should bypass all institutions, peer critique, risk appraisal or public opinion, to shout ‘yoohoo’ into a potentially hazardous cosmos. Ćirković's book offers plenty of grist for discussion and consensus-seeking, before rushing to force a fait accompli on our children."[19]

Numerous other authors and scientists have expressed similar concerns. These are generally known as the "Dark Forest Theory" of ETI. Of particular interest is Cixin Liu's Remembrance of Earth's Past which explores in fiction format the theory and some of its implications.[20][21]

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)
  • SETIcon – Public conventions on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Krieger, Lisa (2016-12-27). "Tired of listening, scientists plan to send greetings out to other worlds". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ Meyer, Guido (2017-02-20). "E.T. - hörst Du mich?". SWR2.
  4. ^ a b Schulze-Makuch, Dirk (2016-06-03). "Conversing with E.T." Air & Space Magazine.
  5. ^ a b Robert, Sanders (2016-12-29). "METI to Send Interstellar Messages in 2018". Futurism.
  6. ^ Sabin, Dyani (2017-06-29). "Researchers at METI are Trying New Technology to Contact Aliens". Inverse.
  7. ^ Leary, Kyree (2017-09-17). "Despite Opposition, METI Will Still Reach Out to Alien Life in 2018". Futurism.
  8. ^ a b Johnson, Steven (2017-06-23). "Greetings, E.T. (Please Don't Murder Us.)". The New York Times Magazine.
  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.
  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. ^ Alderson, Ella (2020-07-20). "The Dark Forest Theory of the Universe". Medium. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  21. ^ "Statement Regarding METI/Active SETI". Retrieved 2021-03-12.

External links[edit]