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Dr. Douglas Vakoch

Founder & President of METI—Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence

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 Dr. Douglas Vakoch Biography

As a scientist searching for life in the universe and working to preserve civilization on Planet Earth, Dr. Douglas Vakoch travels between the inner space of the psyche and the outer space of the cosmos. As a leading researcher in both astrobiology and psychology, he provides unique insights into the human significance of the age-old question, “Are we alone?”

After sixteen years as part of Silicon Valley’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), he broke away to create METI, a research organization whose namesake activity is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence—the controversial project to send powerful, intentional radio signals to nearby stars, in the hope of provoking a response. “The New Yorker” magazine calls him “The Man Who Speaks for Earth.” In 2017 he led METI’s radio transmission to a nearby star from the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) antenna in Tromsø, Norway, and he eagerly awaits 2043—the first year that humanity could receive a reply.

Dr. Vakoch is an elected member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Institute for Space Law, and he received the Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award “for dedication to the language and codes for broader cosmic reception and communication and their broader cultural meanings.” He has edited fifteen books with such diverse titles as “Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (SUNY Press), “The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages” (Cambridge University Press), “Psychology of Space Exploration” (NASA), and “Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment” (Springer). He also serves as editor-in-chief of Springer’s Space and Society book series.

To sustain messaging projects across the generations, Dr. Vakoch explores the human dimensions of global warming and other threats to the long-term survival of civilizations. He emphasizes the vital importance of engaging with nature—amid our hectic urban lifestyles—to secure a greater sense of serenity and fulfillment. He is the general editor of the book series Ecocritical Theory and Practice, which has published over sixty books exploring ways that fiction can help us address today’s most critical environmental problems. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Vakoch understands that the foundation of successful psychotherapy is providing a safe space where people can be heard, understood, and accepted, with all their concerns—from relationship problems to anxieties about our climate crisis. His clinical work also draws on lessons from astronauts for dealing with stress down here on Earth.

For twelve years Dr. Vakoch taught the next generation of psychotherapists in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He is now professor emeritus at CIIS, as well as CEO of Green Psychotherapy, PC, a psychological practice in Northern California, with offices in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. He has been featured in monthly magazines of the American Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society.

Dr. Vakoch frequently appears in film and television documentaries, where he explores the hunt for life in the cosmos. His expertise includes space exploration, the societal impact of science, and environmental threats to humanity’s long-term survival. His work has been featured in such publications as “The New York Times,” “The Economist,” “Nature,” “Science,” and “WIRED,” and he has been interviewed for numerous radio and television broadcasts on networks ranging from the BBC to the Science Channel, with recent segments on PBS’s “NOVA Wonders” and the History Channel’s “In Search Of” with Zachary Quinto. He was featured in the films “Calling E.T.,” which had its American premiere at SXSW, and “The Visit,” which premiered at Sundance.

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Videos
Speaking Topics
  • FROM THE BIG BANG TO US: Seven Steps to a Sustainable Civilization

    Over thirteen billion years ago, the universe exploded into existence, eventually yielding a species capable of reflecting on its own origins and destiny. In this whirlwind tour of the history of the cosmos, Dr. Vakoch unpacks the seven milestones needed for our modern-day human civilization to arise. From the birth of stars to the advent of writing, humankind evolved into the only species on Earth capable of communicating with our counterparts on distant exoplanets. Drawing parallels between the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the age-old quest to understand our place in the universe, Dr. Vakoch explores the seven variables of the Drake Equation, used to estimate how many technological civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy. From the violent history of the first seconds following the Big Bang, to the contemporary conflicts between warring nations here on Earth, Dr. Vakoch shows how the survival of the fittest has given rise to our remarkable intelligence, while also threatening our very future as a species. To succeed, we’ll need to reinvent who are, finally deserving of the name Homo sapiens—the wise human. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. His books include “The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages,” published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Vakoch is an elected member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Institute for Space Law.?

  • CALLING THE COSMOS: Telling Extraterrestrials We’re Here

    For over fifty years, astronomers have used radio telescopes to listen for signals from advanced civilizations. So far, they have found nothing. But what if extraterrestrials are doing the same as us, simply listening and not transmitting? It would be a chillingly silent universe! In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explains why humanity should take the initiative to make contact by launching an ambitious, ongoing project to transmit powerful, intentional signals to nearby stars, in hope of a reply. Countering concerns that it’s dangerous to reveal ourselves to malevolent aliens, he argues for facing our fears of the unknown and acting without the guarantee of success. In the process, we will learn critical lessons in audacity that will transform our everyday lives. By focusing on what we can offer to extraterrestrials and to future generations of humans, we will demonstrate that we are ready to move beyond our technological adolescence and begin growing up in the universe as a civilization and a species. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. “The New Yorker” magazine called him “The Man Who Speaks for Earth.” Dr. Vakoch led METI’s radio transmission to a nearby star from the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) antenna in Tromsø, Norway. His books include “Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence.”

  • AESTHETICS FOR ALIENS: Art, Music, and Extraterrestrials

    Do aliens have a sense of beauty? Could they understand ours? From Johannes Kepler’s Music of the Spheres to Hollywood’s alien symphony in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” we have pondered the link between the cosmos and creativity. Today scientists leading the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) point their telescopes toward the stars, seeking evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. If they find a signal from aliens, what should we say in reply? How could we let them know what it’s like to be human? Building on the language of mathematics and science, Dr. Vakoch shows how we might start telling extraterrestrials about aesthetics on Earth. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Prior to founding METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Dr. Vakoch was Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute in Silicon Valley. He has chaired workshops in Paris on the art and science of interstellar message construction in collaboration with Leonardo/ISAST (The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology). Dr. Vakoch is the recipient of a Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award “for dedication to the language and codes for broader cosmic reception and communication and their broader cultural meanings.”

  • MORALITY AND THE FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE

    Are evolution and ethics unique to Earth, or are they built into the very structure of the cosmos? Does human morality provide a common ground for encountering life beyond Earth, or is it an instinct that is specific to our particular biology and history? In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explores a basic assumption of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): that aliens will be transmitting messages to us for our benefit. This question of whether extraterrestrials will be altruistic has become increasingly important in recent years with the launch of new projects to send powerful radio signals from Earth, in an effort to make first contact. Technological civilizations that transmit signals for the benefit of others, but with no immediate gain for themselves, certainly seem to be altruistic. But does this make biological sense? Should we expect altruism to evolve throughout the cosmos, or is this only wishful thinking? Is it dangerous to send messages to other worlds, as Stephen Hawking has suggested, or might humankind benefit from an exchange with intelligence elsewhere in the galaxy? Would extraterrestrial societies be based on different ethical principles, or would we see commonalities with Earthly notions of morality? Dr. Vakoch explores topics ranging from game theories of cooperation to the biology of self-sacrifice, providing new insights into our place in the universe and our responsibilities toward other civilizations. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. His books include “Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos” and “Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” which the journal “Zygon” called “a high-quality tool for cross-cultural studies of altruism and beyond.”

  • ARE WE ALONE? Commitment and the Search for Life Beyond Earth

    Over the past quarter of a century, astronomers have discovered that virtually all stars are orbited by exoplanets. We now know the basic building blocks of life are strewn throughout the galaxy. But we have not yet discovered any concrete evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. We find ourselves in the midst of a three-way horse race to find E.T., and our success depends on our technologies and our human commitment to the search. In this talk, Dr. Vakoch shows that we humans cannot control whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. Either it’s there or it’s not. But we have a tremendous capacity to decide whether we will find it, if it’s out there. To search for life in the universe, we need to commit to the hard work, expense, and uncertainty of exploration. That’s true whether we are looking for radio signals from advanced civilizations, signs of life in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets, or Martian fossils just below the surface of the Red Planet. The search for extraterrestrial life also provides lessons for all of us as we lead our own lives right here on Earth. Exoplanet hunters needed to believe that planets might orbit other stars before they could discover these exoplanets. If we are to have any chance of finding life beyond Earth, we also need to be willing to search for it, even though we don’t know yet know whether it exists. Similarly, we encounter realities in our everyday lives that we cannot control. But we can commit to doing all within our power to understand the way things are. Once we have a better understanding of reality as it currently exists, we can then decide how to create the world that we truly want. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch’s research in both astrobiology and psychology gives him unique insights into the human dimensions of searching for life beyond Earth. His books include “Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society,” and “Astrobiology, History, and Society,” which the review journal “Choice” described as “one of the best books on the subject; it belongs in all college libraries.”

FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Dr. Douglas Vakoch?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Dr. Douglas Vakoch for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Dr. Douglas Vakoch, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Dr. Douglas Vakoch or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Dr. Douglas Vakoch?

    Booking fees for Dr. Douglas Vakoch, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Dr. Douglas Vakoch, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Dr. Douglas Vakoch?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Dr. Douglas Vakoch for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Dr. Douglas Vakoch for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Dr. Douglas Vakoch or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Dr. Douglas Vakoch or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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Dr. Douglas Vakoch

Founder & President of METI—Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Travels From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Dr. Douglas Vakoch Biography

As a scientist searching for life in the universe and working to preserve civilization on Planet Earth, Dr. Douglas Vakoch travels between the inner space of the psyche and the outer space of the cosmos. As a leading researcher in both astrobiology and psychology, he provides unique insights into the human significance of the age-old question, “Are we alone?”

After sixteen years as part of Silicon Valley’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), he broke away to create METI, a research organization whose namesake activity is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence—the controversial project to send powerful, intentional radio signals to nearby stars, in the hope of provoking a response. “The New Yorker” magazine calls him “The Man Who Speaks for Earth.” In 2017 he led METI’s radio transmission to a nearby star from the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) antenna in Tromsø, Norway, and he eagerly awaits 2043—the first year that humanity could receive a reply.

Dr. Vakoch is an elected member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Institute for Space Law, and he received the Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award “for dedication to the language and codes for broader cosmic reception and communication and their broader cultural meanings.” He has edited fifteen books with such diverse titles as “Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (SUNY Press), “The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages” (Cambridge University Press), “Psychology of Space Exploration” (NASA), and “Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment” (Springer). He also serves as editor-in-chief of Springer’s Space and Society book series.

To sustain messaging projects across the generations, Dr. Vakoch explores the human dimensions of global warming and other threats to the long-term survival of civilizations. He emphasizes the vital importance of engaging with nature—amid our hectic urban lifestyles—to secure a greater sense of serenity and fulfillment. He is the general editor of the book series Ecocritical Theory and Practice, which has published over sixty books exploring ways that fiction can help us address today’s most critical environmental problems. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Vakoch understands that the foundation of successful psychotherapy is providing a safe space where people can be heard, understood, and accepted, with all their concerns—from relationship problems to anxieties about our climate crisis. His clinical work also draws on lessons from astronauts for dealing with stress down here on Earth.

For twelve years Dr. Vakoch taught the next generation of psychotherapists in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He is now professor emeritus at CIIS, as well as CEO of Green Psychotherapy, PC, a psychological practice in Northern California, with offices in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. He has been featured in monthly magazines of the American Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society.

Dr. Vakoch frequently appears in film and television documentaries, where he explores the hunt for life in the cosmos. His expertise includes space exploration, the societal impact of science, and environmental threats to humanity’s long-term survival. His work has been featured in such publications as “The New York Times,” “The Economist,” “Nature,” “Science,” and “WIRED,” and he has been interviewed for numerous radio and television broadcasts on networks ranging from the BBC to the Science Channel, with recent segments on PBS’s “NOVA Wonders” and the History Channel’s “In Search Of” with Zachary Quinto. He was featured in the films “Calling E.T.,” which had its American premiere at SXSW, and “The Visit,” which premiered at Sundance.

Dr. Douglas Vakoch Videos

  • The search for extraterrestrials | Douglas Vakoch | TEDxGreenville
    For over fifty years, astronomers have pointed their telescopes to the sky, looking for signals from advanced civilizations—a project called SETI,...

Dr. Douglas Vakoch Speaking Topics

  • FROM THE BIG BANG TO US: Seven Steps to a Sustainable Civilization

    Over thirteen billion years ago, the universe exploded into existence, eventually yielding a species capable of reflecting on its own origins and destiny. In this whirlwind tour of the history of the cosmos, Dr. Vakoch unpacks the seven milestones needed for our modern-day human civilization to arise. From the birth of stars to the advent of writing, humankind evolved into the only species on Earth capable of communicating with our counterparts on distant exoplanets. Drawing parallels between the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the age-old quest to understand our place in the universe, Dr. Vakoch explores the seven variables of the Drake Equation, used to estimate how many technological civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy. From the violent history of the first seconds following the Big Bang, to the contemporary conflicts between warring nations here on Earth, Dr. Vakoch shows how the survival of the fittest has given rise to our remarkable intelligence, while also threatening our very future as a species. To succeed, we’ll need to reinvent who are, finally deserving of the name Homo sapiens—the wise human. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. His books include “The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages,” published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Vakoch is an elected member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Institute for Space Law.?

  • CALLING THE COSMOS: Telling Extraterrestrials We’re Here

    For over fifty years, astronomers have used radio telescopes to listen for signals from advanced civilizations. So far, they have found nothing. But what if extraterrestrials are doing the same as us, simply listening and not transmitting? It would be a chillingly silent universe! In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explains why humanity should take the initiative to make contact by launching an ambitious, ongoing project to transmit powerful, intentional signals to nearby stars, in hope of a reply. Countering concerns that it’s dangerous to reveal ourselves to malevolent aliens, he argues for facing our fears of the unknown and acting without the guarantee of success. In the process, we will learn critical lessons in audacity that will transform our everyday lives. By focusing on what we can offer to extraterrestrials and to future generations of humans, we will demonstrate that we are ready to move beyond our technological adolescence and begin growing up in the universe as a civilization and a species. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. “The New Yorker” magazine called him “The Man Who Speaks for Earth.” Dr. Vakoch led METI’s radio transmission to a nearby star from the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) antenna in Tromsø, Norway. His books include “Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence.”

  • AESTHETICS FOR ALIENS: Art, Music, and Extraterrestrials

    Do aliens have a sense of beauty? Could they understand ours? From Johannes Kepler’s Music of the Spheres to Hollywood’s alien symphony in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” we have pondered the link between the cosmos and creativity. Today scientists leading the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) point their telescopes toward the stars, seeking evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. If they find a signal from aliens, what should we say in reply? How could we let them know what it’s like to be human? Building on the language of mathematics and science, Dr. Vakoch shows how we might start telling extraterrestrials about aesthetics on Earth. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Prior to founding METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Dr. Vakoch was Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute in Silicon Valley. He has chaired workshops in Paris on the art and science of interstellar message construction in collaboration with Leonardo/ISAST (The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology). Dr. Vakoch is the recipient of a Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award “for dedication to the language and codes for broader cosmic reception and communication and their broader cultural meanings.”

  • MORALITY AND THE FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE

    Are evolution and ethics unique to Earth, or are they built into the very structure of the cosmos? Does human morality provide a common ground for encountering life beyond Earth, or is it an instinct that is specific to our particular biology and history? In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explores a basic assumption of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): that aliens will be transmitting messages to us for our benefit. This question of whether extraterrestrials will be altruistic has become increasingly important in recent years with the launch of new projects to send powerful radio signals from Earth, in an effort to make first contact. Technological civilizations that transmit signals for the benefit of others, but with no immediate gain for themselves, certainly seem to be altruistic. But does this make biological sense? Should we expect altruism to evolve throughout the cosmos, or is this only wishful thinking? Is it dangerous to send messages to other worlds, as Stephen Hawking has suggested, or might humankind benefit from an exchange with intelligence elsewhere in the galaxy? Would extraterrestrial societies be based on different ethical principles, or would we see commonalities with Earthly notions of morality? Dr. Vakoch explores topics ranging from game theories of cooperation to the biology of self-sacrifice, providing new insights into our place in the universe and our responsibilities toward other civilizations. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. His books include “Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos” and “Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” which the journal “Zygon” called “a high-quality tool for cross-cultural studies of altruism and beyond.”

  • ARE WE ALONE? Commitment and the Search for Life Beyond Earth

    Over the past quarter of a century, astronomers have discovered that virtually all stars are orbited by exoplanets. We now know the basic building blocks of life are strewn throughout the galaxy. But we have not yet discovered any concrete evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. We find ourselves in the midst of a three-way horse race to find E.T., and our success depends on our technologies and our human commitment to the search. In this talk, Dr. Vakoch shows that we humans cannot control whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. Either it’s there or it’s not. But we have a tremendous capacity to decide whether we will find it, if it’s out there. To search for life in the universe, we need to commit to the hard work, expense, and uncertainty of exploration. That’s true whether we are looking for radio signals from advanced civilizations, signs of life in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets, or Martian fossils just below the surface of the Red Planet. The search for extraterrestrial life also provides lessons for all of us as we lead our own lives right here on Earth. Exoplanet hunters needed to believe that planets might orbit other stars before they could discover these exoplanets. If we are to have any chance of finding life beyond Earth, we also need to be willing to search for it, even though we don’t know yet know whether it exists. Similarly, we encounter realities in our everyday lives that we cannot control. But we can commit to doing all within our power to understand the way things are. Once we have a better understanding of reality as it currently exists, we can then decide how to create the world that we truly want. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch’s research in both astrobiology and psychology gives him unique insights into the human dimensions of searching for life beyond Earth. His books include “Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society,” and “Astrobiology, History, and Society,” which the review journal “Choice” described as “one of the best books on the subject; it belongs in all college libraries.”

FAQs on booking Dr. Douglas Vakoch

  • How to book Dr. Douglas Vakoch?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Dr. Douglas Vakoch for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Dr. Douglas Vakoch, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Dr. Douglas Vakoch or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Dr. Douglas Vakoch?

    Booking fees for Dr. Douglas Vakoch, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Dr. Douglas Vakoch, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Dr. Douglas Vakoch?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Dr. Douglas Vakoch for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Dr. Douglas Vakoch for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Dr. Douglas Vakoch or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Dr. Douglas Vakoch or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Dr. Douglas Vakoch is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Dr. Douglas Vakoch for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Dr. Douglas Vakoch generally travels from San Francisco, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Bob Kopp, Dr. Sylvia Washington, Joseph Romm, Steve Goreham and Jennifer Wilcox. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Dr. Douglas Vakoch for an upcoming event.

Dr. Douglas Vakoch Speaker Videos

  • The search for extraterrestrials | Douglas Vakoch | TEDxGreenville
    For over fifty years, astronomers have pointed their telescopes to the sky, looking for signals from advanced civilizations—a project called SETI, the search for extraterrestrial civilizations. So...

Dr. Douglas Vakoch Speaking Topics

  • FROM THE BIG BANG TO US: Seven Steps to a Sustainable Civilization

    Over thirteen billion years ago, the universe exploded into existence, eventually yielding a species capable of reflecting on its own origins and destiny. In this whirlwind tour of the history of the cosmos, Dr. Vakoch unpacks the seven milestones needed for our modern-day human civilization to arise. From the birth of stars to the advent of writing, humankind evolved into the only species on Earth capable of communicating with our counterparts on distant exoplanets. Drawing parallels between the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the age-old quest to understand our place in the universe, Dr. Vakoch explores the seven variables of the Drake Equation, used to estimate how many technological civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy. From the violent history of the first seconds following the Big Bang, to the contemporary conflicts between warring nations here on Earth, Dr. Vakoch shows how the survival of the fittest has given rise to our remarkable intelligence, while also threatening our very future as a species. To succeed, we’ll need to reinvent who are, finally deserving of the name Homo sapiens—the wise human. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. His books include “The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages,” published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Vakoch is an elected member of the International Astronomical Union and the International Institute for Space Law.?

  • CALLING THE COSMOS: Telling Extraterrestrials We’re Here

    For over fifty years, astronomers have used radio telescopes to listen for signals from advanced civilizations. So far, they have found nothing. But what if extraterrestrials are doing the same as us, simply listening and not transmitting? It would be a chillingly silent universe! In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explains why humanity should take the initiative to make contact by launching an ambitious, ongoing project to transmit powerful, intentional signals to nearby stars, in hope of a reply. Countering concerns that it’s dangerous to reveal ourselves to malevolent aliens, he argues for facing our fears of the unknown and acting without the guarantee of success. In the process, we will learn critical lessons in audacity that will transform our everyday lives. By focusing on what we can offer to extraterrestrials and to future generations of humans, we will demonstrate that we are ready to move beyond our technological adolescence and begin growing up in the universe as a civilization and a species. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. “The New Yorker” magazine called him “The Man Who Speaks for Earth.” Dr. Vakoch led METI’s radio transmission to a nearby star from the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) antenna in Tromsø, Norway. His books include “Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence.”

  • AESTHETICS FOR ALIENS: Art, Music, and Extraterrestrials

    Do aliens have a sense of beauty? Could they understand ours? From Johannes Kepler’s Music of the Spheres to Hollywood’s alien symphony in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” we have pondered the link between the cosmos and creativity. Today scientists leading the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) point their telescopes toward the stars, seeking evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. If they find a signal from aliens, what should we say in reply? How could we let them know what it’s like to be human? Building on the language of mathematics and science, Dr. Vakoch shows how we might start telling extraterrestrials about aesthetics on Earth. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Prior to founding METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Dr. Vakoch was Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute in Silicon Valley. He has chaired workshops in Paris on the art and science of interstellar message construction in collaboration with Leonardo/ISAST (The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology). Dr. Vakoch is the recipient of a Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award “for dedication to the language and codes for broader cosmic reception and communication and their broader cultural meanings.”

  • MORALITY AND THE FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE

    Are evolution and ethics unique to Earth, or are they built into the very structure of the cosmos? Does human morality provide a common ground for encountering life beyond Earth, or is it an instinct that is specific to our particular biology and history? In this talk, Dr. Vakoch explores a basic assumption of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI): that aliens will be transmitting messages to us for our benefit. This question of whether extraterrestrials will be altruistic has become increasingly important in recent years with the launch of new projects to send powerful radio signals from Earth, in an effort to make first contact. Technological civilizations that transmit signals for the benefit of others, but with no immediate gain for themselves, certainly seem to be altruistic. But does this make biological sense? Should we expect altruism to evolve throughout the cosmos, or is this only wishful thinking? Is it dangerous to send messages to other worlds, as Stephen Hawking has suggested, or might humankind benefit from an exchange with intelligence elsewhere in the galaxy? Would extraterrestrial societies be based on different ethical principles, or would we see commonalities with Earthly notions of morality? Dr. Vakoch explores topics ranging from game theories of cooperation to the biology of self-sacrifice, providing new insights into our place in the universe and our responsibilities toward other civilizations. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch is the president of METI, a San Francisco-based research organization whose namesake mission is Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. His books include “Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos” and “Altruism in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” which the journal “Zygon” called “a high-quality tool for cross-cultural studies of altruism and beyond.”

  • ARE WE ALONE? Commitment and the Search for Life Beyond Earth

    Over the past quarter of a century, astronomers have discovered that virtually all stars are orbited by exoplanets. We now know the basic building blocks of life are strewn throughout the galaxy. But we have not yet discovered any concrete evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. We find ourselves in the midst of a three-way horse race to find E.T., and our success depends on our technologies and our human commitment to the search. In this talk, Dr. Vakoch shows that we humans cannot control whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. Either it’s there or it’s not. But we have a tremendous capacity to decide whether we will find it, if it’s out there. To search for life in the universe, we need to commit to the hard work, expense, and uncertainty of exploration. That’s true whether we are looking for radio signals from advanced civilizations, signs of life in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets, or Martian fossils just below the surface of the Red Planet. The search for extraterrestrial life also provides lessons for all of us as we lead our own lives right here on Earth. Exoplanet hunters needed to believe that planets might orbit other stars before they could discover these exoplanets. If we are to have any chance of finding life beyond Earth, we also need to be willing to search for it, even though we don’t know yet know whether it exists. Similarly, we encounter realities in our everyday lives that we cannot control. But we can commit to doing all within our power to understand the way things are. Once we have a better understanding of reality as it currently exists, we can then decide how to create the world that we truly want. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vakoch’s research in both astrobiology and psychology gives him unique insights into the human dimensions of searching for life beyond Earth. His books include “Civilizations Beyond Earth: Extraterrestrial Life and Society,” and “Astrobiology, History, and Society,” which the review journal “Choice” described as “one of the best books on the subject; it belongs in all college libraries.”

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