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Short Synopsis
A provocative and mind-expanding look at the search for alien intelligence by a leading physicist and astrobiologist.

Full Synopsis
Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). But after a half century of scanning the skies, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life. The problem, argues leading physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies, is that we've been looking in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong way. Davies should know. For more than three decades, he has been closely involved with SETI and now chairs the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we're confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. In this extraordinary book, he shows how SETI has lost its edge, then offers a new and exciting road map for the future.

Davies believes that our search so far has been overly anthropocentric: we tend to assume an alien species will look, think, and behave like us. He argues that we need to be far more expansive in our efforts, and in this book he completely redefines the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if we ever do make contact. A provocative and mind-expanding journey, The Eerie Silence will thrill fans of science and science fiction alike.

"Wilson delivers a steady reading highlighted by stellar pacing and solid pronunciation.... The weighty material never manages to overwhelm his resolve to keep the listener thoroughly engaged." ---AudioFile

"Paul Davies imagines the unimaginable.... A [must-listen] for anybody fascinated by the most profound of questions: are we alone?" ---Stephen Baxter, author of Manifold

"Highly recommended for both science fiction and astronomy buffs." ---Publishers Weekly

"Davies ranks among our very best science writers, and this book should prompt deep rethinking among the entire SETI community." ---Gregory Benford, author of Timescape

"A fascinating tale stuffed with novel ideas about the nature of intelligence far beyond our own." ---Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute

The Eerie Silence

Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

Author Paul Davies

Narrated by George K. Wilson

Publication date Apr 13, 2010

Running time 11 hrs

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