Speaking Beyond Earth

Perspectives on Messaging Across Deep Space and Cosmic Time

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About the Book

Since the dawn of the Space Age, small cohorts of humanity have broadcast signals towards other stars, fabricated “space-time capsules” to “speak for Earth” aboard interstellar probes, deposited collections of “space oddities” on other astronomical bodies, and permanently incised the memory of our species across the deep-time legacy of the Sol System. Many of these purposeful “messages” are the consequence of age-old behaviors, traditions, and material practices using modern aerospace technologies. Most attempt to preserve narratives of human experience in social exchange devices for imagined, exotic audiences. Looking back upon this accumulative history of “messaging from Earth”, how do we begin to interpret such an eclectic portrait of Earth for ourselves?
Surveying and cataloguing the variety of these artifacts through a series of interdisciplinary essays and visual documentation, this volume chronicles our changing relationships, customs, and assumptions made within this material culture for our own eyes. What do these autobiographical accounts tell us about Terrans and our minds, set against the backdrop of our planetary history?

About the Author(s)

Paul E. Quast is an interdisciplinary scholar based in Scotland. He is a director for the Beyond the Earth foundation, an NGO studying the semiotics of information-exchange systems, while assessing emergent, long-term anthropogenic legacies for the benefit of future stewardship applications.

David Dunér is a professor of history of science and ideas at Lund University, Sweden. He is a board member and director of METI International, and member of the working group on the Historical, Philosophical, Societal and Ethical Issues in Astrobiology within the European Astrobiology Institute.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Paul E. Quast and David Dunér
Foreword by Alice Gorman
Afterword by Cornelius Holtorf
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 80 photos, glossary, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9000-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4986-3
Imprint: McFarland