Are Aliens Here? What to Make of the Pentagon’s Report to Congress on UFOs
A Virtual Conversation with Anthropologist
Jerome H. Barkow, Board Member, METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence International) Institute
Wednesday, August 4, 7 pm EDT on Zoom
In 2020, Congress ordered the Pentagon to produce a report on UFOs. On June 25, 2021, the Pentagon released its much-anticipated report on UFOs to Congress.
The nine-page report doesn’t say what the 144 sightings from 2004 to 2021 are. (The military rebranded unidentified flying objects as unidentified aerial phenomena –UAPs.) The report presents no convincing evidence that alien spacecraft have been spotted, but encourages the U.S. government to collect better data on UAPs.
Science Writers in New York invites you to a virtual conversation with Jerome H. Barkow, emeritus professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University, Canada, and a director of the board of Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) International, which conducts scientific research and educational programs in METI and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
Dr. Barkow will talk to SWINY co-chair David Levine (@dlloydlevine) about the Pentagon’s report and will compare UAPs to spirit possession in West Africa as a way of introducing the notion that our perceptions and interpretations are culturally framed – once our own framing was supernatural but in a world of science some of us use the frame of extraterrestrials.
About Jerome H. Barkow
Jerome H. Barkow received a BA in psychology from Brooklyn College in 1964 and a doctorate in human development from the University of Chicago in 1970. He is currently an emeritus professor of social anthropology at Dalhousie University, Canada (where he has spent most of his career), and until recently was an honorary professor at the Institute of Cognition and Culture, Queen’s University Belfast.
Dr. Barkow has always identified professionally as an anthropologist, but his work is interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary and has ranged from analyzing the impact of Islam on Hausa women in West Africa; to the conundrum of how the Bugis of Indonesia could have a sophisticated knowledge of cuisine but scant effective knowledge of child nutrition; to how the Migili gerontocracy of Nigeria’s Middle Belt came to crash. He is known as an editor (with Leda Cosmides and John Tooby) of the 1992 volume that helped launch the field of evolutionary psychology, The Adapted Mind; as the author of Darwin, Sex, and Status (1989); and as the editor of a failed attempt to convince mainstream social-cultural anthropology and sociology that evolutionary biology is the infrastructure of their field, Missing the Revolution: Darwinism for Social Scientists (2006). Most recently, he was a co-editor (along with Lance Workman and Will Reader) of the 2020 Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behavior. A lifelong addiction to science fiction and a recurrent annoyed reaction to many of that field’s depictions of extraterrestrial intelligences (“oh, evolution could never have produced that species!”) has now led to a strong interest in applying evolutionary psychology and anthropology to astrobiology.
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Wednesday, August 4
7 to 8 pm EDT