SETI in China: Encompassing Scientific and Cultural Perspectives

6 February 2024 at 12am CET Duration: 90min

This online workshop is part of the SETI Institute's outreach program for A Sign in Space, targeting an audience interested in both SETI research and astronomical findings from an interdisciplinary perspective. The proposed session revolves around the notion of “SETI in China: encompassing scientific and cultural perspectives”, featuring three speakers addressing the subject from their respective research directions.This online workshop is divided into three parts:

  • Second Earth: Exoplanetary research in China
  • SETI mission conducted by Chinese scientists
  • SETI and science fictional elements in Chinese contemporary art

Q&A - 30 mins

Tongjie Zhang

Professor at the Department of Astronomy and the Institute for Frontiers in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Beijing Normal University, and a doctoral supervisor. Holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Cosmology from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Member of the Astronomical Society of China and the Cosmology Division of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Former member of the Permanent Committee for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at the International Astronautical Congress (IAA SETI).His Research interests include theoretical cosmology, high-resolution computational simulations in cosmology, radio observations of the accelerated expansion of the universe, and the search for extraterrestrial civilizations using the Chinese ‘Heaven’s eye’ (FAST). He has published over 120 papers in international journals in the fields of astrophysics and physics. Recipient of the Second Prize in the Beijing Science and Technology Award for Natural Sciences.He teaches cosmology courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students and has received the Second Prize in the Beijing Higher Education Teaching Achievement Award.He has Authored three books: "An Introduction to Cosmology" (2021, Science Press, for undergraduates), "Modern Cosmology" (2016, Science Press, for postgraduates), and "How Big is the Universe?" (2022, Machinery Industry Press, a popular science book).

Bolun Huang

PhD student in Astrophysics at Beijing Normal University. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Southampton in 2019, followed by a master’s degree in Astrophysics from the University of Glasgow in 2022. His master's studies were primarily focused on integrating gravitational wave detection with artificial intelligence. At present, Bolun is engaged in pioneering research at the Astronomy Department of Beijing Normal University, where he is developing innovative SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) observational techniques. His recent contribution, the design of a multibeam point-source scanning method, has been detailed in his paper "A Solution to Continuous RFI in Narrowband Radio SETI with FAST: The MultiBeam Point-source Scanning Strategy", published in the Astronomical Journal. This method has significantly improved the efficiency of SETI observations and the detection of radio interference. Additionally, his research interests span SETI observations using the FAST telescope, data analysis, advancements in SETI theory, and strategic planning in the field. Bolun is also an active researcher in the Far Neighbor Project.

Sharon Xuesong Wang

Prof. Sharon Xuesong Wang is an astronomer working on the detection and characterization of extra-solar planets, especially planets that are similar to our Earth and Jupiter. She is a faculty member in the Department of Astronomy at Tsinghua University. She received her PhD from Penn State and was a Carnegie Postdoc Fellow before joining Tsinghua in 2020.

Iris Long

Iris Long is a writer and independent curator with a research focus on the psycho-geography of techno-science and plural cosmologies. She’s also a Berggruen Fellow and a Swissnex Fellow. In 2023, she initiated the first residence program focusing on astronomy and astrophysics in China (Department of Astronomy, Tsinghua University).

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