Science TED Conferences

Quoted: Denise Herzing on communicating with extraterrestrials

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

ted2013_0059736_d41_1139Denise Herzing has spent more than 25 years studying dolphins in the wild, living each summer on a boat in the Bahamas for better access to our finned friends in their natural habitat. Today, in Session 8, she shared her work in using an interactive device to communicate with the dolphins — and let them communicate with her team, too.

We asked Herzing: What animal would you want to learn to communicate with next?

One on another planet. I’m really curious about other minds. Dolphins are in the water and they are mammals and they have families, so there are a lot of similarities — but it’s different enough that I’m curious about it. I think it would be really cool to meet another critter on another planet.

That’s part of the plan — we have all these potential means to interact with animals on the earth. If we figure out how to do that a little better, and delve into that a little deeper, we might be more prepared. We have the possibility for looking at non-human intelligence right here so why not learn and figure out and get the framework going for communication. I know we’ll find microbes first, but it’s a big universe full of possibilities.