Professor Matthew Bailes is based at Swinburne University in Melbourne – and is leading Australia’s efforts to find signs of extra-terrestrial life.
But he warned that making contact with aliens capable of transmitting powerful signals to Earth over tens of thousands of light years could lead humanity into disaster, because they’re likely to be so much more advanced.
Prof Bailes was recently put in charge of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation’s $100m search for alien life, which is being financed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and is backed by Professor Stephen Hawking.
The team working on the project will use the Parkes radio telescope – one of the largest in the world – to scan the universe in what has been described as bringing a “Silicon Valley approach to the search for intelligent life”.
The initiative will cover 10 times more area of sky than previous programmes, according to News24.