Alien First Contact work may start with scientific groups, but the responsibility for the response will be largely shouldered by politicians. The amount of responsibility would depend on the type of First Contact. If aliens make contact via messaging from far away, that would be a lower level of responsibility for politicians. In that scenario scientists would likely lead the effort. However, if an alien craft was to arrive on Earth, politicians in the landing area, and the surrounding nation, would have a great deal of responsibility. Here are six things for elected officials to consider in such a situation.
- You have been thrust into one of the most important points in human history.
- Your actions could impact humanity positively or negatively for many generations to come
- If you don’t control this situation with carefully measured, and yet quickly carried out, actions, there could be many damaging outcomes.
- If you don’t work with all nations and international agencies you will risk global conflict. Such a response may also hurt your nation’s relationship with the aliens.
- You must work quickly to establish a framework for response that is based on international cooperation, transparency in actions, and public reassurance.
- Make use of scientific experts. Start with people in the SETI community who have considered such events and responses for many years now. Reach out quickly to other important fields in the social sciences: sociology, political science, religion, and international relations, to name just a few. Consider the impact of information coming from extraterrestrials with scientists in all fields that could be effected by that information: physics, astronomy, engineering etc.
Scientists may balk at having politicians lead such a response, but elected officials represent humans, and it is inevitable that those elected officials will need to determine the process for developing a relationship with extraterrestrials.