LINGUIST List 26.5455

Mon Dec 07 2015

FYI: Call for Book Chapters: Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 04-Dec-2015
From: Douglas Vakoch <>
Subject: Call for Book Chapters: Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence
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Chapter proposals are invited for an edited book titled ''Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence.'' To date, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has emphasized technological aspects, as astronomers use radio and optical telescopes to search for signals from advanced civilizations at interstellar distances. At the same time, biologists have researched the prospects for microbial life on other planets. This book will bridge the gap between the biologists studying microbial life and the astronomers searching for artificial signals from extraterrestrial intelligence by focusing on the likely nature of communication systems and intelligence on other planets. Contributions are invited from an internationally diverse group of scholars from a range of disciplines including but not limited to linguistics. Chapters should focus on the possible nature of cognition and/or communication of intelligence – either biological or artificial – that may exist elsewhere in the galaxy. Contributions that specifically address the prospects for language-like features in extraterrestrial communication systems are especially welcome.

Interested authors should send a 400-word abstract, 200-word biography, and sample of a previously published chapter or article to Douglas Vakoch at by January 15, 2016. Proposers will be notified about whether their submissions are accepted for the book by February 1, 2016. For accepted proposals first drafts of full chapters (8,000 – 9,000 words) are due by June 1, 2016, and final versions are due August 1, 2016. Only previously unpublished papers will be considered. Preference will be given to authors who have already earned a doctorate.

Confirmed contributors and their chapter topics include:
''The Evolutionary Psychology of Extraterrestrials''
Jerome H. Barkow, Dalhousie University, Canada
''Situated and Embodied Cognition and Its Relevance to Extraterrestrial Intelligence''
Pauli Laine, University of Jyväskylä, Finland and David Dunér, Lund University, Sweden
''Anticipating the Conceptual Worlds of Extraterrestrial Intelligence: An Embodied Cognition Approach''
Heath Matheson, University of Pennsylvania, USA
''Cephalopod Behavior and Neurobiology: An Alternative Model for Intelligence''
Dominic Sivitilli and David H. Gire, University of Washington, USA
''Intra- and Interspecies Dolphin Communication: Insights from an Aquatic Alien World''
Denise Herzing, The Wild Dolphin Project and Florida Atlantic University, USA
''The Challenges of Understanding Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Lessons from the Study of Non-human Terrestrial Intelligences''
Con Slobodchikoff, Northern Arizona University, USA
''From Universal Constraints to Linguistic Universals, or Why Extraterrestrial Intelligences Can Tell Lies and Jokes''
Meir-Simchah Panzer, Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Shlomo Dror, Friedlander Center for Leadership Development, USA

Given that we have no examples of extraterrestrial life to study, and no empirical proof that such life even exists, there are significant methodological constraints on attempting to anticipate the nature of cognition and communication in extraterrestrial intelligence. Chapters that highlight these constraints are especially welcome.

The editor of ''Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence,'' Douglas Vakoch, is President of SETI International, which has as one of its priorities to ''research and communicate to the public the many factors that influence the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe, with a special emphasis on ... (1) the fraction of life-bearing worlds on which intelligence evolves, (2) the fraction of intelligence-bearing worlds with civilizations having the capacity and motivation for interstellar communication, and (3) the longevity of such civilizations'' ( His work in SETI was featured in the October 2015 issues of the American Psychological Association's ''Monitor on Psychology'' ( and the British Psychological Society's ''The Psychologist'' ( Vakoch has edited a dozen books, including ''Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence'' (SUNY Press, 2011), ''Astrobiology, History, and Society: Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discovery'' (Springer, 2013), ''Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication'' (NASA, 2014), ''Extraterrestrial Altruism: Evolution and Ethics in the Cosmos'' (Springer, 2014), and ''The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life Through the Ages'' (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics

Page Updated: 07-Dec-2015